Earlier today, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted out a story that reiterated an initial rumor he began this time last week, stating that there are people close to Tom Coughlin who believe he could take over the job from current head coach Doug Marrone.
Is Tom Coughlin the man to coach the Jags in 2019? https://t.co/rXFtzkT8Kq— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 9, 2018
This story was then picked up by SI’s MMQB site, which parroted the report from La Canfora, and has now picked up steam on social media this morning.
While the season has been a disaster by any measure, and there are certain to be changes coming following the clock striking 00:00 in Houston on December 30th, let’s get this out of the way so that we don’t spend more time than is necessary on the subject.
Tom Coughlin is not going to be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For one, let’s assume Coughlin, as is speculated in the report, does indeed want to coach this team in order to return “discipline” and right the ship to a group that has acted immature on and off the field this season in somewhat astounding ways. That’s certainly viable to believe, but take a step back and look at the way this staff who has overseen the undisciplined group has been constructed. Doug Marrone is a guy whom Tom Coughlin signed off on following the hiring process in January of 2017, specifically for his “no-nonsense” Coughlin-esque ways. Coughlin then played an intricate role in hiring Marrone’s supporting staff, signing off on keeping coordinators Nathaniel Hackett and Todd Wash from the previous regime and bringing on his former defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to coach the secondary, offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, and two of his former players in Tyrone Wheatley and Keenan McCardell to coach the runnning backs and receivers, respectively. So if Coughlin’s biggest push to owner Shad Khan to replace Marrone with himself is discipline, wouldn’t the first logical question be, “Aren’t these all your guys who have lost control of the room?”. What big difference would Coughlin bring that isn’t already in there, since Coughlin himself has been hands on in his approach since rejoining the team as EVP of Football Operations in 2017, and has planted his guys all throughout the staff?
Then there’s the assessment Shad Khan would need to make in bringing on Coughlin as the head coach. It would be Khan basically agreeing that the guy who he brought on to be the top decision maker, did a crap job at signing off on the head coach and his hand-picked staff, so let’s see how he does leading the product on the field instead! Yeah, not a lot of sound logic there either.
And sure, Coughlin certainly has the pedigree of two Super Bowl titles in the last 15 years, but the reason he was unceremoniously let go from the Giants was a tailspin collapse his last three seasons, going 7-9, 6-10, and 6-10 before finally being relieved of his duties as head coach. At 72 years old, that would be a hard sell to a ticket buying public that is quickly moving on from the “Coughlin nostalgia” following his second go-around with the Jaguars.
At the end of the day, there are almost certainly going to be changes made to the front office and coaching staff within the next month. The staff here at BCC has heard certain names and details, but to this point cannot fully corroborate them, and thus will not report them as fact. One thing that is almost certainly not going to happen, however, is the first head coach in franchise history running out on the field to lead them for their 25th anniversary in 2019.