Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Just Say No: Coughlin Should Tell Jaguars 'No Thank You'

The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking for a new head coach after the dismissal of Gus Bradley on Sunday.

Now the woebegone franchise is looking to possibly go back to the future by contacting former coach Tom Coughlin for the job.

While Coughlin might feel a bite of nostalgia being contacted by the team that he helped create in 1995, and has said publicly and privately that he still wants to coach, it would be in his best interest to just say thanks but no thanks.

Coughlin was part of the Jaguars inception in 1995. If anyone knows about starting from scratch it is he. He made the Jaguars relevant with two trips to the AFC title game, and four seasons at or near the top of the AFC Central.  Like I said, a reunion of sorts would mean a lot to him -- that franchise is still close to his heart. Coughlin even has a home down in the Jacksonville area.

However, Coughlin is no youngster. He would be 71-years-old in a league that doesn't employ head coaches over age 70. In his last two seasons with the Giants, he clearly lost a step or two as the firebrand who brought two Super Bowl titles to the Big Apple, as the Giants went 6-10 in each of his last two years. In today's NFL it is just as important to have a coach who can connect with players as well as lead them. At 71, while Coughlin has earned the respect of his peers and certainly his players, his ways of communicating might come off as stale to this new generation.

The Jaguars are no exception. They are one of the youngest teams in the NFL. With a quarterback in Blake Bortles who has been a total bust, the Jaguars will need to retool their roster and find winning players. It will take a lot out of the next head coach for sure. At 71 is Coughlin ready to be part of total rebuilding effort? The Jaguars are not one or two players away from being a contending team. The Titans and Colts have franchise quarterbacks. The Texans have a top 10 defense. Those three teams aren't letting up any time soon in the AFC South.

Not to mention this franchise hasn't had a winning season in nine years, and they heaped all the blame on Jack Del Rio in 2011 and have heaped all the blame now on Gus Bradley. The problems in Jacksonville are deeper than the head coach. Del Rio is doing great things in Oakland now, and Bradley will likely resurface as a defensive coordinator next season. In short this is not the same Jaguars franchise that Coughlin left in 2002. Wayne Weaver no longer owns the team, and Shahid Khan has not been too successful since taking over the franchise -- in fact he is the one who spearheaded all this NFL in London talk when he pushed for the Jaguars to play there annually.

One can understand that the challenges facing the Jaguars might motivate Coughlin further. His competitive fire will undoubtedly convince him that he can do the job. But, it might be better for him to move on and pass on this opportunity.

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