Yesterday, Jaguars owner Shad Khan made a pointed move to change the direction of the franchise in Jacksonville forever. Every last clock in the building have been returned to their normal times.
For Tom Coughlin, being present on time was the most important rules in the building. Setting the clocks forward by five minutes insured that everyone would show up when they are supposed to show up — Coughlin time.
”Oh yeah I definitely noticed that,” Jaguars defensive lineman Dawaune Smoot told members of the media today regarding the change of clocks. “Especially coming in this morning. I was almost late today, saw the clocks were different so I was good.”
Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones said the clocks through him off at first. “I thought I was late (laughs),” Jones said. “That’s probably our strongest we probably got to get to is to resetting back to five minutes back.”
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said the clock change didn’t really make much of a difference, “Time still go by fast either way,” Fournette said shortly after practice on Thursday. “It don’t matter at the end of the day.”
For Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye, the first difference in the building he noticed were the notorious clocks which hang throughout the stadium, ensuring zero excuses for tardiness.
“I thought I was late for meetings,” Bouye told reporters. “I look up [and] I had an extra five minutes. That’s the only thing that really changed.”
While the outside perception of Coughlin may have been harsh, and — in a lot of cases, —, warranted the players in the locker room did not have anything negative to say regarding his dismissal.
Bouye says while Coughlin was strict, he was used to it. As a former UCF Knight, Bouye was coached by Geoge O’Leary, someone Bouye said was similar in background to Coughlin.
“All this stuff I’ve been used to it even to the clock,” Bouye said. “What he’s done in the league — won two super bowls with New York —, his resume is definitely great. Wish him all the best, don’t know what’s gonna happen with him. Unfortunate that it had to end like this and we couldn’t get a Superbowl for him while he was here.”
Coughlin was let go yesterday after a letter was sent by the NFLPA on Monday which indicated over 25% of all grievances came from Jacksonville, something which could deter future players from signing with the Jaguars, at least while Coughlin remained in power in Jacksonville.
Fournette has dealt with the situation before fine by the team, however it was dismissed after only a couple of weeks. Fined $99,000 for sitting on the bench in the final game of the 2018 season, he and former Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon were stunned to see it.
“The funny thing is ... when it happened — it was the last game actually. Two days later, T.J. [Yeldon] called me, he was like ‘man, what the hell?’ he was like ‘man I got fined $100,000. I’m like [explitive], ‘I don’t know what to tell you’. Then the email came to me and I called him, I’m like I got fined $100,000,” Fournette recalled to members of the media on Thursday.
”Our biggest thing was trying to get our money back of course, and it worked out fine.”
#Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette on when he and TJ Yeldon got the $99k fine for sitting on the bench during the Texans game in 2018:— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) December 19, 2019
“Two days later TJ called me, he was like ‘man what the hell?’” pic.twitter.com/Xo9s0ShxlP
The clocks around the building have changed, but the overall approach for the players in the locker room has not. The goal is to still go out and win for years to come.
“I think it is a big deal that when the statement came out it wasn’t, ‘The Jaguars have relieved Coach Coughlin.’ It was, ‘Shad Khan.’ It shows that even with the great stuff that he is doing with Jacksonville on the business side, football is still his first obligation and he is going to do what he needs to do to make sure the players get everything they need to build a winning organization,” Jones said on the job Khan has done to make the Jaguars competitive in the future.
“Especially 25 percent of [player fines] of the whole league … He wants to make sure he keeps bringing in great talent to add to the great talent he has brought in.”