What has Tom Done?
If you live anywhere within the vicinity of the city of Jacksonville, Florida or follow sports in any capacity than you’ve probably heard that Tom Coughlin has returned to the Jaguars. Coughlin was the first head coach of the Jaguars and led them to by far their best seasons in the first few years of the team’s existence. At one point he even led the team to within one game of the the Super Bowl which for a younger fan like myself is almost laughable to even think of the Jaguars being that close to a Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin is a legend in Jaguar’s history because of this success and because the only extended period of success the team has ever had was under his lead. After being fired by the Jaguars he went on to, of course, win not one but two Super Bowls with the Giants. Watching him win those two Super Bowls was the epitome of being a Jaguars fan knowing those both should have been ours under Coughlin.
Is Tom the Savior?
Early in this year’s offseason after Coughlin took a year off from football, after being fired by the Giants, Jags owner Shad Khan made the executive decision to bring Coughlin in and hire him as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations. After this hire Khan made it clear that everything that had anything to do with football would go through Coughlin. The initial reaction to this announcement from every Jaguars fan was ecstatic. The face and name that is attributed to the most success the Jags have ever had is coming back and is seemingly the king of the entire organization. Of course he’s going to turn the team around, of course we’re going to be good now that Tom Coughlin is back. These were the initial thoughts but are they true? I just like everyone else was ecstatic when I heard the news of the Coughlin hire but as the dust settled I began to think about what it really meant. Coughlin is a great coach, great football mind, and has proven so multiple times with multiple teams. The issue is he’s not the coach, his main job will be dealing with personnel and assembling the team. Coughlin has said that he will be at every training camp and regular season practices contributing his knowledge but that’s only during practice, not during the game. He can’t control the plays being called and the players being put on the field for those plays in the middle of the game. He can only determine which players are on the roster on game day. Taking this into account I decided to think back on the rosters of some of his best teams from his 12 years in New York, I encourage you to do the same. How many players can you name? Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, and Odell Beckham are the obvious three but other than that who’s next? The hero of Coughlin’s Super Bowl was David Tyree who never caught another pass after that game. As great of a coach and football mind Coughlin is he’s never had a powerhouse roster full of stars and building a powerhouse roster is his main job in Jacksonville. I’m not saying he is going to fail or assemble another bad team, all I’m saying is that I won’t believe that bringing in Tom Coughlin will make much difference to this terrible team until I see it.