Things aren’t great in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars have lost three straight games, all of them on the road, and are 4-7 as they prepare for Sunday’s home game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the playoffs seem like a longshot, there is a chance for Jacksonville to finish the season on a high note.
On Wednesday, media were surprised with the news that Jaguars head of football operations Tom Coughlin would be addressing them after offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
Coughlin rarely speaks publicly in his current role with the Jaguars. After an odd opening statement in which he read a lot of individual players’ statistics — odder still for a man who has always preached team — Coughlin opened things up for questions.
It didn’t get much better after that, especially if you looking for clarity on, well, anything.
Most notably, he did not give a vote of confidence or support to head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone’s contract goes through the 2021 season after agreeing to a two-year extension in February 2018. Coughlin and Dave Caldwell, Jacksonville’s figure-head general manager, were also extended at that time.
What would you like to see out of [quarterback Nick] Foles? We’d like to win. That’s why we play. Our goal is to win.
Has there been a determination on Doug’s status for next year? Five games to win.
Doug said yesterday there was internal criticism that he eased up on players in camp, did you feel that way? That would be between Doug and I, and it’s not for anyone else.
Is there interest in keeping Yannick Ngakoue? We have five games to play, and everyone has a lot to prove.
What did you do to try to repair the relationship with Jalen Ramsey? I’m not going to speak about Jalen, he’s no longer a member of our team, and he’s a member of another team.
On Leonard Fournette’s growth: Well, Leonard has made great progress along those lines. I think Doug has a done a great job with all of the players on this team, they all are — the extension, as you well know from the very beginning, was trust and communication. And he’s done a great job with that. And Leonard in return has been one who has communicated and Terry Robiskie and Leonard have worked together to be a really solid part of this team.
Were the last three games so egregious you had to say something? I wouldn’t use that word. But here’s what I would say: You know my philosophy, that the head coach is the voice of the program. Okay? I feel at this point in time that I’m needed to speak. Doug has come before you with his message literally every day since the start of the season. If I can help reinforce that message, then that’s why I’m here. We’re all in this together, we’re all battling, we all want to win — you all want to win, I know that. You don’t want to write about a team that’s not winning, it’s not any fun. And we’re all in this thing together.
Who does this reinforce the message to? I was hoping you were going to ask me to summarize what I would say to our fans, and our fans and everyone else, we need you very badly. In my opinion, we’ve been on the road for three weeks and it hasn’t been pretty, we need to get home, we need to get our thing going in our stadium, our support from everyone, it’s not a time to stick your head in the sand. These are young men, they know when they’re being supported and when some extension of love is being sent their way, and they will respond.
What gives you hope the team could turn around? Their attitude, the way thy practice, they come back out on the practice field and thy go to work again. You’ve got to keep chipping away at it, there’s no other way around it. It’s hard work. You look at Foles, he wants to win for sure, and everyone else out there too. I’ve liked that part of this team.
Doug has said repeatedly after losses, “I have to do a better job”, can you assess the job he’s done? Well, as I keep saying, we have five games to go and then there will be an evaluation of every one of us. Of everything.
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