JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars will be different.
Former NFL general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly said that undoubtedly will be the case with Tom Coughlin again at EverBank Field. And Casserly said this, too:
That difference almost certainly will be positive.
Coughlin, the Jaguars' head coach from 1995-2002 and a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach with the New York Giants, joined the Jaguars as executive vice president of football operations nine days ago. Casserly on Wednesday told jaguars.com live Coughlin's vision can be a major asset.
"I think it's huge," Casserly told Brian Sexton and John Oehser. "Tom is going to have a lot of assets, but the No. 1 asset is going to be the desire to win. As he said in the [introductory press conference],' Hey, it's all about winning.' That's going to permeate through that whole organization. That's No. 1.
"No. 2 is it's going to be a football-first vision in that building. That's going to help [general manager] Dave [Caldwell] and it's going to help [head coach] Doug Marrone. Tom's got one way to do it: it's football and it's only football. That's going to give the owners a clear vision of how this thing is supposed to look. That's the greatest asset Tom is going to bring there, and that is huge."
Both Marrone and Caldwell will report to Coughlin, with Caldwell recently signing a two-year contract extension after serving as general manager the past four seasons. Marrone was made the permanent head coach after serving as interim head coach the last two games of last season.
The Jaguars since hiring Marrone and Coughlin on January 9 have hired Joe DeCamillis as special teams coordinator, Todd Wash as defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell as secondary coach, Pat Flaherty as offensive line coach and Tyrone Wheatley as running backs coach.
"I'm impressed with what they've done," Casserly said. "I think they've done a good job getting off to a start and hiring a staff. I have a lot of respect for Tom Coughlin. He's an outstanding football man; he's highly dedicated. I have a lot of respect for Doug Marrone. I think Dough Marrone did a good job at Syracuse and I think he did a good job at Buffalo [in previous head-coaching stints]. He's an excellent football coach and I think Dave Caldwell has done a good excellent job bringing some young talent in there.
"You have three guys who are good at what they do. Now, the question is: meshing, job responsibility, putting egos aside. Doug has to be the head coach. Tom can't be the head coach. I think Tom understands that, but Tom will be a tremendous resource and a tremendous advantage for the franchise.
"This thing can work. It's just everybody fitting in the parts and having their jobs clearly defined – and everybody putting the team ahead of themselves."
Casserly said while the Jaguars may or may not be ready to win big immediately, he believes Coughlin and Marrone enter a good situation.
"When jobs open, there's always a reason they're open: because they're not ready to go [win immediately], usually," Casserly said. "I thought when I was there in training camp [before last season] they were at least a year away. They have a nucleus of young players. The defense is starting to come along. They have some of the young skill players at receiver who have done well.
"What they're missing is that core group of veterans that's not there to show them how to win. That's hard to get in free agency. You can get some, but you're not maybe able to get quite what you want. So, I thought they were another draft away [last season], missing that veteran group, counting on too many young players at one time to come through to win right now.
"That being said, if we're starting from zero – meaning we're going to have a couple of years to work with this thing – I think it's a great opportunity. A lot comes down to [quarterback Blake] Bortles. Is he the guy or is he not the guy? That's still not decided, and if he's not, you have to start over again at quarterback.
"But if everyone has patience with this thing there's no reason why they can't win."