NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told a group of reporters this morning the Jaguars' 3-7 record is not reason for alarm in a league that is "cyclical."
"You could've asked that question in Chicago (a year ago). It's a disappointment when a team comes off a terrific cycle and doesn't do as well. It's a cyclical business. We have a business that, every Monday morning, half the (customers) are suffering," Tagliabue said at an Alltel Stadium press conference. Tagliabue is in Jacksonville for tonight's Monday Night Football game between the Jaguars and the Green Bay Packers.
"The great part of our history is small-market success," Tagliabue said in addressing the Jaguars' woes this season. "The league has never been dominated by the big-market teams."
Tagliabue was in the midst of a one-day, whirlwind tour of Jacksonville. Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver served as the commissioner's chaperone.
"One of the reasons I'm here today is to get a better sense of what's going on," Tagliabue said, referring to Jacksonville's progress in preparing to host Super Bowl XXXIX in February of 2005.
Meanwhile, reporters confronted Weaver following Tagliabue's remarks. Questions immediately addressed rumors that Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is a top candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Notre Dame.
"Tom Coughlin is our football coach," said Weaver, who is believed to have Coughlin under contract through 2003.
When asked if he would allow Coughlin out of his contract, Weaver said: "You'd have to ask Tom if he wants out."
Jaguars.com will conduct a video question and answer session with Tagliabue this afternoon at three o'clock. The video and its transcript will appear on jaguars.com as soon as possible.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.