Tom Coughlin told reporters today his decision not to attempt a field goal on fourth-and-two at the Ravens 12-yard line in the second quarter is his lone regret among several game-management decisions that backfired in the Jaguars' 17-10 loss in Baltimore.
"I would probably kick a field goal again in that situation," Coughlin said during his noon press conference. "Would I change? Yeah, I'd change that one, but that's the only one."
The other controversial decisions were:
• Not attempting a 48-yard field goal in the third quarter with Baltimore leading 10-7. Chris Hanson's punt from the Ravens 31-yard line sailed into the end zone.
• Going for a first down on fourth-and-seven from the Ravens 24-yard line early in the fourth quarter, still trailing by three points. A 32-yard field goal by Hayden Epstein would've tied the game. Instead, Mark Brunell threw incomplete for Patrick Johnson.
• Challenging a fumble ruling that resulted in a Jaguars recovery for a six-yard loss. Coughlin wanted replay review to rule the ball had come out of Brunell's hand as he was attempting to pass, but replay supported the original ruling. The "challenge" cost Coughlin a timeout his team desperately needed late in the game.
• An onside kick with 2:30 to play and the Jaguars in possession of two remaining times out.
Coughlin said Epstein's lack of range outside 40 yards impacted the decisions not to attempt 48 and 42-yarders, and that would seem to have Epstein on the verge of being released by the team.
"We're looking at who's available," Coughlin said of kickers who would be candidates to replace Epstein, a rookie from Michigan. "It would be time for us to do some work in that area.
"You would certainly like to think you could make anything from the 40-yard line and in and be respectable outside the 40-yard line," Coughlin added.
But Epstein has missed all three of his attempts outside 40 yards, and though he is three-for-three from 29 yards and in, he missed a 39-yarder yesterday that may spell doom.
"He has plenty of leg. It's always been accuracy," Coughlin said of Epstein, who was a .500 kicker in the preseason.
Coughlin defended his replay decision, citing the "Tom Brady rule" from last year's playoffs. "All winter we talked about the tuck rule. To me, it's the action of a forward pass and should've been called an incomplete pass," Coughlin said of the Brunell fumble. Coughlin said he planned to place a phone call to NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira this afternoon.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Jimmy Smith seemed to have been appealing to Coughlin when Smith told reporters this morning: "I can count on one hand the number of times we've gone deep in the last two games. It's frustrating for me because I like to be able to carry the load and my load has been very limited."
"We're very much aware of who our play-makers are," Coughlin said when informed of Smith's comments. "(Opponents) are aware of where Jimmy Smith is. The ball has got to be spread around more."