Jacksonville, FL - The legend returns.
Tom Coughlin takes his place once again as a top cat with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it won’t be as the head coach.
The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach will settle into a front office role instead, overseeing new head coach Doug Marrone and existing general manager Dave Caldwell as the franchise tries to turn itself into the winner Coughlin had made them during his first stint with the Jags.
After he was formally introduced by owner Shad Khan during a press conference this morning at EverBank Field, Coughlin – the new Executive Vice-President of Football Operations - said it’s about putting a winner on the field as soon as possible and holding everyone – including players – accountable for wins and losses.
“I have a vested interest in this team,” Coughlin added. “I want to see this team succeed.”
The 70-year-old Coughlin will be the tie-breaker between Marrone and Caldwell when it comes to personnel and other matters, but he refused to say much of anything regarding the current group of players, stating that he wanted to review the players more before making any moves.
Having said that, Khan made it clear that he feels the Jaguars have a lot of young, talented players who can succeed and he expects that to happen soon, a feeling that Coughlin says he shares.
“What the hell would you be doing this for if it wasn’t to win?” Coughlin stated. “We’re trying to win today.”
Khan also noted that Marrone – who was already on Gus Bradley’s staff when he took over as the interim head coach with two games left in the season – was the “clear-cut” permanent choice after other candidates were interviewed for the job.
“We’re celebrating a homecoming,” Khan stated. “It goes without saying that any football organization that includes Tom Coughlin is going to be one of the best in the NFL. That’s a fact. No need to Google that one.”
Khan also praised Bradley’s efforts in Jacksonville, calling him a friend and saying he had “no regrets” about giving him as much of a chance as possible to succeed.
Coughlin led the Jags to a 68-60 record over the franchise’s first eight seasons as head coach, including four trips to the playoffs and two appearances in the AFC Championship game, the closest the Jaguars have ever gotten to the Super Bowl.
He had better luck in his next head coaching stint with the New York Giants, leading them to improbable Super Bowl victories in 2007 and 2011 before he stepped down in 2015.
Now Coughlin gets to try again in the Bold City, this time while perched over the shoulders of Marrone – who led the Buffalo Bills to a 9-7 record before opting to leave following the 2014 season – and Caldwell, who managed to secure the same three-year deal given to Coughlin and Marrone after Bradley was fired following the Week 15 loss to Houston.
When asked if he had the desire to coach again, Coughlin said he’s motivated to succeed from behind a desk and that was part of what attracted him to this position.
“It is this culture of winning… of doing things the right way all of the time… that needs to be stressed with our team,” Coughlin stated.
During the press conference, Marrone also echoed similar sentiments, saying he hoped all the players were watching and that they were working right now towards making themselves better for next season.
Marrone - who left the Bills after an ownership change triggered an out clause in his contract -also noted that he was in a much different situation now than then and he had every intent to stick around and see the Jaguars to the top.
Even though eight coaches were let go and others have been retained, none of those who are staying have set jobs assigned to them at this time, per Marrone.