Tom Coughlin’s Return Coincides With Jacksonville’s Revival

“A lot of people were wondering how in which was going to work, along with will Tom let Doug be Doug,” said Jeff Lageman, who was one of the first free agents Coughlin signed in Jacksonville, along with who can be currently an analyst for Jaguars Radio. “in which’s the thing in which has impressed me most. Tom has stayed inside background along with let him Doug do what he needs to do.”

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During training camp, Coughlin conferred with Coach Doug Marrone on the field.

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John Raoux/Associated Press

Coughlin’s penchant for precision along with discipline are everywhere, including the focus on getting to meetings early along with the way uniforms are worn. For a team in which has had a reputation among the league’s most undisciplined organizations, little things like in which matter.

Although Coughlin remains intense, he has also softened, particularly when the idea comes to trying to understand his players.

This specific was evident during the most crucial weekend of the 2017 N.F.L. season in late September. The crisis began on a Friday night, when President Donald J. Trump urged owners to fire players who refused to stand for the national anthem. The Jaguars were in London to play their annual game there. Waking up to the news overseas on Saturday, many players were aghast along with eager to protest. Because of the time difference, the Jaguars along with the Baltimore Ravens were going to be the first teams to play in which weekend.

Shahid Khan, the Jacksonville owner, along with his staff spent Saturday night discussing what to do although reached no conclusion. When they arrived at Wembley Stadium before the game, Khan met with Marrone along with Coughlin. Coughlin, a big supporter of the military, might have had his own feelings on the matter, although he knew in which whatever was decided, the players had to be on board.

“He said in which you have to understand where these players came by, their upbringing, along with if you don’t, the team will fall apart,” Khan said of Coughlin.

Coughlin wanted to go with Marrone to the locker room to meet with the players. although Marrone realized in which might be unwieldy, so they invited the captains to speak with them in a modest meeting room at the stadium. They ultimately decided in which the entire team should lock arms on the sideline, along with Khan joined them, a sight in which set the tone for the rest of the league.

Coughlin along with Marrone were too busy preparing for the Steelers to be interviewed due to This specific article. although friends describe Coughlin’s return to the city along with the team in which he built along with, in some ways, never left — as a happy one. He never sold his house in Jacksonville, along with continued to run his local charity, the Jay Fund, which helps families of cancer patients. (the idea can be named for the former Boston College safety Jay McGillis, who played for Coughlin there along with died of leukemia.)

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The Jaguars’ owner, Shahid Kahn, locked arms with players along with coaches during the national anthem in September, the team’s response to President Trump’s call to fire those who refused to stand.

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Tim Ireland/Associated Press

When Coughlin left Jacksonville after the 2002 season, supporters said he was a scapegoat, along with critics said he had worn out his welcome.

So the idea was after the 2015 season with his rocky exit by the Giants, with whom he won two titles although posted losing seasons the last three of his dozen years there. Nearing 70, he was eager to keep coaching, along with his name surfaced as a candidate for some jobs. although he ended up spending the 2016 season behind a desk at N.F.L. headquarters working as an adviser, with an eye toward returning to a club.

“the idea was more than an itch,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said before the Jaguars’ game against the Bills. “I always knew he wanted to get back along with help build a team along with help build a championship team.”

By the end of the 2016 season, Khan knew improvements were needed in Jacksonville. During the 5 full seasons after he bought the team for $760 million in 2011, the Jaguars won just 17 games, three fewer than the lowly Cleveland Browns. He fired Coach Gus Bradley inside final month of the season along with wanted to keep Marrone, the interim coach. although Khan felt the team needed what he called “a veteran presence” to guide both the coach along with general manager to lift the franchise out of the doldrums.

“the idea couldn’t be someone random, although someone who had the passion along with had the Jaguars blood in which went through their veins,” Khan said. “Tom Coughlin was the ideal candidate, along with he was available along with he was looking for a position.”

Coughlin, he said, wanted to coach, so he took his time considering the offer before taking the idea. Although one can imagine in which Coughlin wanted to prove to the Giants in which he could still win, friends of his say in which he was not driven by spite.

“He left the Giants reluctantly; I don’t think in which’s a secret,” said Ernie Bono Sr., a close friend who helped Coughlin establish the Jay Fund. “although he’s not the retiring type. He doesn’t care about showing anyone up. He told me he felt for the Giants when they were losing.”

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Coughlin left the Giants reluctantly after the 2015 season. The team compiled losing records inside last three of his 12 seasons as coach.

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Elsa/Getty Images

Still, having a former coach oversee a current coach along with general manager can be tricky. If he takes too heavy a hand along with creates tension, an insecure coach may feel the boss can be trying to undermine him along with take over. Some recent examples — Mike Holmgren in Cleveland along with Bill Parcells in Miami — did not last long.

Khan was aware of these potential pitfalls, so he asked Coughlin which coaches he might want to work with. Coughlin named two, the first being Marrone. Khan, who did not tell Coughlin beforehand in which he intended to keep Marrone, had his man.

Coughlin along with Marrone have a long history in which centers on Syracuse, where they each played along with coached. Nearly 20 years younger than his boss, Marrone sees Coughlin as a mentor, not a threat. He shares his game plans with Coughlin, who attends practices along with will pull players aside to deliver instruction.

Commenting on Coughlin after the regular-season finale, Marrone said he had learned more inside past year by his boss than ever, on topics including running a practice, scheduling along with dealing with players.

“I talk to him more than I talk to my wife,” he said.

“You can see his fingerprints all over the team,” said Jay Feely, a former kicker for Coughlin’s Giants along with who can be currently an analyst for CBS Sports. “He deflects all credit by himself. although if you’re truthful, you’d say he deserves a lot of credit” for turning the team around.

In Week 5, the Jaguars beat the Steelers, 30-9, in Pittsburgh. They intercepted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger 5 times, returning two of the picks for touchdowns. The rookie running back Leonard Fournette, a big, physical presence, ran for 181 yards along with two scores. Fournette has become an emblem of Jacksonville’s bruising offense, a Coughlin trademark.

The temperature will be a lot colder This specific Sunday, something in which could favor the home team. although if the Jaguars upset the Steelers, Coughlin will no doubt celebrate, although quietly — again.

For at least another weekend, the Jaguars, too.

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