Hello Jaguars fans. This is Tom Coughlin, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Thanks for logging onto jaguars.com for today's chat. The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was founded in honor of Jay McGillis. I coached Jay when I was the head coach at Boston College. Jay was a very special young man who developed leukemia and passed away at the age of 21. The courage, compassion, and faith he demonstrated during the course of his illness was an inspiration to many people. I hope to answer many questions about the Jay Fund and football today, so let's get started.
AJAG4EVER: Any updates on the Jimmy Smith situation?
Tom Coughlin:Jimmy right now is resting very comfortably. He is undergoing a series of tests. We are very optimistic about the answers to these questions and we remain very positive about his future treatment and hope that he will soon be able to come home from the hospital.
freddyt: Why did you start the Jay Fund?
Tom Coughlin: The Jay Fund was started to honor the spirit of Jay McGillis who was a young man I had the honor of coaching at Boston College. His spirit, humility, total regard for his family. These were the qualities that inspired many of us at the time of Jay' s death. What we wanted to do when we came to Jacksonville was start a foundation that would help families with children who had leukemia, help them to overcome the tremendous financial burden which accompanies this disease. And thus the Jay Fund provides help to families by means of paying their mortgages, car payments, core blood transplants which cost $15,000 per and are not covered by insurance. There's a large gambit of ways in which we help people.
Skeeter: Coach Coughlin, what can you tell us about R. Jay Soward's accident this morning in California? Is he OK?
Tom Coughlin: R. Jay Soward was in a traffic accident Thursday night at 9:30 pm California time. He received abrasions to the face and hand. He was not hospitalized. No tickets were issued. R. Jay was to see a physician this morning and have his hand x-rayed. He spoke with me this morning and was very humble and very thankful that he was able to walk away from the accident, but tried to assure me that he was not injured.
jagfan1111: What sports figures will be in town for the Tournament?
Tom Coughlin: Our guests will be Dick Jauron, Dom Capers, Marty Shottenheimer, Otto Graham, Randy Cross of CBS Sports, Will mcDonough, James Stewart, Bryan Barker, Glen Foley, John Casey, Dave Widell, Tom McManus, Matt Robinson, Dan hicken .. Also Tony Boselli, Mark Brunell, Kyle Brady, tony Brackens, Carnell Lake, keenan McCardell, Brad Meester, Hardy Nickerson, Seth Payne, Fred Taylor, Gary Walker, Zach Weigert, Alvis Whitted, Lonnie Marts.
shag52: Coach C Is Lake's foot coming along as expected
Tom Coughlin:Carnell practiced one practice per day in the minicamp. He was excited about the chance to compete once again. He suffered no swelling. I think be training camp he'll be 100%.
tcfan:How much confidence do you have in the rookies right now? In general? Any great prospects that you envision as of now?
Tom Coughlin: I have a great deal of confidence in the rookies that were drafted in the 2001 draft class. The question is how fast can they contribute. We need a contribution right away. I thought that Stroud, Maurice Williams, Westmoreland, Chad Ward all had very good camps. Others looked good at times, but need to refine some skills beofre they're going to be players we can depended on this fall. We look forward to having all the rookies back in town on May 15th.
sal:Coach... How far-reaching is the Jay Foundation... Is it supported in other cities/areas?
Tom Coughlin: The Jay Fund Foundation is a local, charitable foundation which reaches out to families in Jacksonville and the immediate vicinity.
TMC:With realignment looming, do you have a division you want to be in or certain rivalries you would like to maintain?
Tom Coughlin: I would like to maintain as much of the integrity of the AFC Central as possible. It is not unrealistic to want to see Baltimore, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Houston in a division. I think that we should do all that we can to maintain a rivalry with these teams.
pixeldust:How do you feel about the OL for the coming season?
Tom Coughlin: With the offensive line its all about continuity. I think that the bottom line is for us to put 5 players with outstanding subs together as fast as we can . If we can remain healthy and communicate with each other throughout the preseason that will give us the greatest opportunity to be the most productive offensive line once the season begins.
freddyt:How are the auctions going?
Tom Coughlin:The Ebay auction is proceeding very well at this point. The most popular items is the Women's Soccer Jersey. That's closely followed by Seau, Faulk, and Brunell's autographed jerseys. Those are at this time the most popular items on the ebay auction.
Skeeter:Coach Coughlin, as LOYAL BIG CAT FANS what more can we do to support the Jaguars on game day?
Tom Coughlin: The question is what can loyal big cat fans do to support the team on gameday... If I could communicate to Jaguars fans how important it is for the team to look up into the stands and see a sold out stadium. Remember that every NFL game is difficult to win. Fans shouldn't not come come just becuase were playing Cincinnatti or Cleveland. That's not the point. The point is that our team, the Jacksonville Jaguars are playing this weekend. The fans come to see OUR team. I commend the loyal Jaguars fans. But we all felt a feeling of apathy last year on the part of our fans. We won 15 games in 1999, but from the beginning of last season fan support was waning. That affects the excitement and motivation that the team AND the coach feels going into a game. When an opponent comes in here and there's not great support, then its not a difficult environment to play in. We need to create the most difficult atmosphere to play in.
Closing Statement from Tom CoughlinThe Jay Fund foundation has one objective and one objective only: to help the families of children with leukemia and other cancer related illnesses. Our major targeted fund raising event is the Jay Fund Foundation Gold Classic. The dinner takes place Sunday may 6th, 2001 and the Tournament takes place May 7th. This spearhead event, and our sponsors which support it, is made possible through corporations and individuals who are generous and support our cause. This is what puts us in a position to help families. We work in conjunction with Dr. Mike Joyce at the Nemours clinic and I directly approve each charitable gift. There are no middle people. There is no major overhead. This is a great cause! The kids will make the difference. Progress is being made against this great disease. Please help us to help those who are fighting the dreaded disease of cancer.
Jaguars Moderator: Thank you everyone for coming out today. Please check back here at jaguars.com for future chats with other Jaguars staff and players.