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Jaguars.com LIVE: “We certainly did perform as a team”

Posted Mar 15, 2017

Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin during an appearance Wednesday on Jaguars.com LIVE: “We were pretty much right on our decisions [during free agency] on who to target and how we were going to go about our business.”

JACKSONVILLE – Tom Coughlin liked how it played out.

That meant the results of the first wave 2017 NFL free agency, but it also meant how the Jaguars went about things during that key offseason period, too.

“When we first came here, we talked about ‘a team’ – and we certainly did perform as a team,” Coughlin told Jaguars.com LIVE Wednesday.

Coughlin, in his first offseason as the Jaguars’ executive vice president of football operations, talked about a variety of topics during a 15-minute appearance with J.P. Shadrick and John Oehser on Jaguars.com LIVE. Among them: the team’s 2017 free-agency class.

The Jaguars late last week made a series of roster moves, including finalizing a trade with the Miami Dolphins for left tackle Branden Albert. The team also signed seven unrestricted free agents: defensive end Calais Campbell (Arizona), safety Barry Church (Dallas), cornerback A.J. Bouye (Houston), defensive end Lerentee McCray (Buffalo), defensive tackle Stefan Charles (Buffalo), linebacker Audie Cole (Minnesota) and offensive lineman Earl Watford (Arizona).

The acquisitions marked first major roster moves since the team’s new management structure was put into place with Coughlin having final say on football matters and General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone reporting to Coughlin.

“Dave and his people performed very well, and our personnel people were right on the mark,” Coughlin said. “Our coaching staff: Doug Marrone and his group, when they came together, contributed. Meetings were efficient.

“We were pretty much right on our decisions on who to target and how we were going to go about our business.”

Coughlin also praised special assistant to the General Manager John Idzik and director of football administration Tim Walsh on their roles during the process, and said Caldwell’s relationships with agents also played a key role.

“We had the line of communications open,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin discussed several of the above-mentioned free agents Wednesday, and his thoughts about Campbell stood out.

Campbell talked extensively last week upon signing with the Jaguars of the role Coughlin’s presence played in the decision. As Jaguars.com LIVE began on Wednesday, Coughlin watched Campbell on an in-studio monitor. Coughlin’s smile was wide.

“I like him very much and I always have,” Coughlin said, adding that when he was the head coach of the New York Giants: “We played against Calais Campbell for a lot of years. He’s a young, vibrant guy. He’s 6-foot-8. He knocks passes down. He tips the ball in the air for interceptions. He’s been a kick-blocker in the past.

“He has an outstanding motor. He’s an outstanding person. He’s outstanding in the locker room, and he has been a two-time captain with Arizona.”

Coughlin laughed when he talked of his conversation last week with Campbell after the player signed.

“When Calais walked into my office I looked at him and told him, ‘The last time I played against you – 10 solo tackles, three tackles for a loss a sack,’’’ Coughlin said, banging the table with each statistic while discussing a 2014 Week 2 Arizona victory over the Giants. “What more can I tell you? We couldn’t run the ball to the side that he was on.”

Coughlin also discussed Albert, who also talked last week of Coughlin being a major reason for his excitement about joining the Jaguars. Albert was the Jaguars’ first major acquisition after Coughlin took the job, with the trade with Miami having been agreed upon in principle well before last week’s March 9 start of the new league year.

Albert, a 10-year veteran, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and is expected to help the line as a run-blocking unit. Coughlin said he believes the Jaguars acquired a motivated left tackle.

“He’s been a Pro Bowl football player at the left tackle spot,” Coughlin said. “He quite frankly wasn’t real happy with the way he played it a year ago, which is what I like. He’s convinced he can do that in a much better capacity and he’s looking forward to it.”


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