JACKSONVILLE – Mike Mayock likes what's happening around the Jaguars.
That's not surprising, because the longtime NFL Media analyst isn't shy about his admiration of Tom Coughlin, but Mayock provided detail Wednesday about what he likes about the Jaguars' leadership.
Yes, Coughlin's position as the Jaguars' Executive Vice President of Football Operations is one reason he likes the new organizational structure, but Mayock said there are other positives.
"I think what it does is it pretty much tells all the players and the fans that there's going to be a stable base," Mayock said Wednesday during an appearance on Jaguars.com LIVE.
One reason for that stability?
The presence as head coach of Doug Marrone, who Mayock on Wednesday praised as "highly-thought-of and respected both by coaches and players."
"He's got a plan," Mayock said. "He sticks to the plan, and I don't think a whole lot bothers him outside the building. He's going to build from the inside out as far as making sure the offensive and defensive lines are solid, and I'm a believer in that infrastructure also. You know what you're going to get from him."
Mayock said the organizational structure of Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations, David Caldwell as general manager and Marrone as head coach sends the proper message. Caldwell spent the past four years in the same role, with Caldwell and Marrone now reporting to Coughlin.
"Even though some changes had to be made, David Caldwell I think has brought in a lot of good, young talent to that team," Mayock said. "I've been a Tom Coughlin fans for a lot of years. He coached my younger brother at Boston College. I know Tom and what Tom's all about. I'm a big fan of his old-school feel for the game of football and I feel the same way about Doug Marrone.
"I think [Owner] Shad Khan and his group made a statement that, 'We believe David can develop talent, and we believe Tom Coughlin and the new coaching staff will draft and develop also.'"
Mayock on Wednesday also discussed:
*The development of Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, saying that he was surprised Bortles struggled as he did this past season. "You kind of go from thinking you have the centerpiece of your franchise to having some concerns on the offensive side of the ball," Mayock said. "I think it surprised you guys and the Jaguars' fans as well as me." Bortles after setting franchise records with 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns passing in 2015 struggled with interceptions and accuracy this past season. "I think he's a really talented guy," Mayock said. "I did a Thursday night game on the radio last year and had not seen tape on Bortles in quite a while. I put the tape on to prepare for the game I was really surprised at how I thought some things had disintegrated a little. I thought his accuracy, his pocket awareness and decision-making had taken a step back."
*The possibility of the Jaguars taking a running back with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. "I think a running back would be in the conversation, especially in this year's draft," said Mayock, who currently has Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Leonard Fournette of Louisiana State as his No. 1 and No. 2 running backs in the draft. Mayock said when selecting a player such as Fournette in the Top 10 a franchise is committing to a certain style of play. "I think you have to know what you're getting into," Mayock said. "Your mindset has to be like a Minnesota with Adrian Peterson, or like a Carolina, or like a Tennessee. You have to feed that bull. He has to get 20, 22, 24 touches every game in the run game. You have to have that mindset. Your offensive line has to have that mindset. If that happens [in Jacksonville], I think Bortles would be the beneficiary of that. It would take a lot of pressure of him and then you become a little more of a play-action team."