JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lee from Ormond Beach, FL
Why can't the Jaguars do anything the right way? Have some respect for Tom Coughlin. Let him finish the season and retire with some dignity.
This would have been the ideal scenario, and I believe this would have been an option had it not been for the NFL Players Association news this week. But when the NFLPA sent the memo Monday essentially warning its players against signing with the Jaguars, it created a perception that the Jaguars weren't a player-friendly organization. My impression from listening to Jaguars players this week is that that perception is overblown, but no matter: perception sometimes is reality, and this is such a time. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan indicated in his statement announcing Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin's dismissal that he originally planned to wait until after the season to make the move. He reconsidered the timing in recent days. He didn't say this specifically in the release, but the thought here was Khan felt he had no choice but to dismiss Coughlin when he did. He needed to show clearly, boldly and publicly that whatever issues there were with the NFLPA and fines were a "Coughlin issue" as opposed to a "Jaguars issue." Reflecting upon your first question, I don't know if it was the "right" way to handle it. There probably was no "right" way. But this was the only way.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, the timing seems odd. Why now?
Because you didn't want the perception that the Jaguars aren't player-friendly to last any longer than necessary.
Keith from Section 436 Since 1995
Glad that TC is gone. Still deserves a place in the Ring of Honor down the road, but glad he's gone. My main concern is that Khan left the door open for General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone to stay another season, which would still be wildly unpopular – especially in the case of Caldwell. What do the tea leaves say, KOAF?
The tea leaves are murky, because the only ones that matter belong to Khan. But, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Caldwell and Marrone return next season.
Biff from Jacksonville
I want to give Doug Marrone a hug, and I need you to make that happen. Or, I'll just give you a hug, and you can hug him on my behalf. This is more than just "one fer Doug." This is about Marrone as an exemplar for this team, and fan base, during a very difficult year. "What makes the exemplar's demeanor nice or estimable is whether the exemplar's manners do express his abiding moral character."
I will not hug you. I will not hug Doug Marrone. I will not do this, Sam I am.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
In Kahn we trust
Hey, one fer Khan!
Dan from Las Vegas, NV
Hey Zone, first of all I appreciate everything Tom Coughlin has done as a coach for this league and for this team. At the same time, I think he exits disgracefully because of his ego to manage young men who are at the top of their careers as professional athletes and his failure to realize that the time has changed since he was at their age.
This is certainly part of the story of Coughlin's dismissal. I imagine history will reflect that losing too much in the last two seasons probably had more to do with it than the NFLPA stories of recent days. Time will tell.
John from Jacksonville
I really hope that Dave and Doug get the chance to do this their way.
Hey … one fer Caldwell and Marrone!
Suffering Jags Fan from Utah, USA
Zone, I had a thought. William L. Cowher was coaching the Jags and Jack Del Rio was the defensive coordinator. Maybe it was a premonition. Maybe we're not there yet. Any insight? "Any intel you can contribute to the good and the welfare?"
Consumed in moderation, eggnog can be a delicious and festive part of the holiday experience.
Nic from East Carolina University
Can you explain why Josh Lambo is not the AFC Pro Bowl kicker? His numbers are clearly better than Tucker's, in both consistency and distance. Is it lack of big-time kicks? Or solely name recognition?
Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens has been widely acknowledged as the NFL's best kicker for a while now. It's not a surprise when he makes the Pro Bowl. Him being named to the game over Lambo probably isn't fair or right, but people vote on this. That's what makes it an imperfect process.
Crash from the Westside
A great running quarterback has won a Super Bowl … Steve Young!
After he became a great pocket passer, but yes.
Cliff from Las Vegas, NV
Is there a real chance the Jaguars cut a current Pro Bowl player in defensive end Calais Campbell this offseason? lol Just typing this makes me feel ridiculous.
Yes, there's a chance – because of Campbell's age, salary and salary-cap number. I don't know the percentage chance, and no one will know until the Jaguars determine who will make decisions in the offseason.
Gary from the Bowels of Arlington
Dwight from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Is it fair to assume that the complaints issued to the NFLPA by Jaguar players (leading the league at 25 percent share of all complaints) were known by Jaguar leadership, particularly Khan, before the story broke to the public? Assuming he and other leadership did know, why wasn't this handled months/years before this became public? I'll tell readers why: see my post from a few weeks ago, there is systemic problems within the organization starting at the very top. This is why we are perennial losers with the exception of a random "fair performing" year every 10 years.
Coughlin was the top of football leadership. All an NFL owner can do is hire the best football people possible and let them do their jobs. If they don't succeed, all the owner can do is keep trying. Khan will continue to try. That's it. That's how it happens. That's the way it's done. If you're looking for deeper solutions and digging for conspiracies, you're trying too hard.
Peter from Jacksonville
"Perhaps" Coughlin went too far in dealing with former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey? Publicly criticizing him for skipping voluntary workouts this spring led to a formal reprimand from the NFL and was part of his whole "disregard the CBA" approach, which led to this total embarrassment. Oh yeah: it was also a big step in Ramsey forcing his way out of town. "Perhaps" Coughlin acted like a total jerk with his arbitrary fines and it all backfired and made us a joke around the league.
Perhaps, and perhaps sometimes the action doesn't merit the reaction. I wouldn't say Coughlin never erred in his actions here. I wouldn't say that Ramsey liked Coughlin. I would say that forcing his way out of town and behaving as he did qualified as an overreaction to an action.
Steve from Atlanta, GA
So Mr. Funk, does Shad Khan not care about the reputation of his organization? Does it bother him to have a fan base embarrassed by the front office's behavior? A union telling their members to not sign with his organization? He is OK letting his head coach have to deal with these questions with no support? Does he realize that all of this reflects directly on him? I always thought we were fortunate to have this owner. His silence on these issues at least gives me pause to wonder. I do not believe I'm alone.
Khan cares about the Jaguars' reputation. Just because he has not spoken yet does not mean he will remain silent forever. Or even for long.
Seamus from Vancouver, BC
Here's a question: At the end of the season, teams and players aren't allowed to talk about football until the start of the offseason programs. How does that work for teams out of the playoffs at the end of the regular season? Do they not get to work with players to plan the offseason? Seems unfair if they are not allowed; playoff teams still get to work with their players during the playoff season. What's the dividing line, here, Dr Football?
Players may use the team's facility for rehabilitation and condition from the end of the season to the beginning of the offseason program. Teams that are in the playoffs obviously continue as normal while teams out of the playoffs cannot use that time for coaching or discussing football or anything of the like. Is it fair? I don't know. Life isn't fair for me. Why should it be for anyone else?
Kiel from Los Angeles, CA
Been telling you for two years that your franchise is garbage. I just wish I hadn't wasted 23 years on it. One of my biggest regrets in life.