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Jaguars re-introduce Tom Coughlin, but is it recipe for disaster?

Florida Football Insiders



(AP Photo/Gregory E. Smith)

It was all smiles Thursday morning at Everbank Stadium in Jacksonville, and there he was, Tom Coughlin, being re-introduced as the newly created, Jags VP of Football operations.

There is no doubt that Coughlin has a special place in Jaguar fans hearts, as he was the architect 20 years ago of the expansion team that made the AFC Championship game in it’s second year.

Clearly, the Jags were good and playoff level during most of his tenure. He is a lauded figure in North Florida and rightfully, so.

But, as “The Monkees” once sang “That was then. This is, now.”

When Shad Khan gave Doug Marrone the full-time chance to be the head coach earlier this week, he did so after having already decided to bring the now 70-year-old Coughlin back in as the ruling executive over he and GM Dave Caldwell.

And that’s where, you will have to forgive us here at F.F.I. for being a bit dubious of this dynamic being put into motion.

This new-found role is similar to what Coughlin’s mentor Bill Parcells became with the Dolphins about 10 years ago. But, here’s the logical reality: Coughlin is a tough nosed almost militaristic coach who led the N.Y. Giants to two Super Bowl crowns.

He knows one way: HIS way. But, in this instance, he’s not the coach. Not in the planning, preparation or game day decisions. He’s an administrator. And that’s not going to be easy for him or for those below him in the chain of command.

Examples are coming out already. Marrone was told which coaches he had to fire on defense and that was done two days ago. He has apparently been told that Coughlin has full authority to hire and veto assistants being brought in.

In fact, well placed NFL info man, Alex Marvez of  The Sporting News and Sirius/XM NFL Radio, found this very telling info out and reported it Thursday. First, Marrone was apparently already stopped on a hire he wanted to make:

And it didn’t stop there. Marvez put out the further extent that Coughlin’s power extends over the hiring of upcoming staff members:

Look, there’s nothing wrong with being thorough, and clearly Khan has full faith in Coughlin’s judgement to give him this kind of power. But it also indicates that there’s more trouble on the horizon when it comes to free agency, the draft and the 53-man roster during the season.

Does anyone really believe that Caldwell now has the authority to pick players in either phase?

What kind of say-so will Marrone truly have in the off season or the final 53 come September?

Does he have a say when it comes to QB Blake Bortles, for example? Coughlin was asked at the presser Thursday about the embattled starter and was definitive (whatever that’s worth in January):

Marrone had been dropping bread crumbs while Jags interim coach that he wants to see true competition at QB this upcoming season. And, that will likely happen. What will also likely happen is Bortles will struggle, probably early and then who gets to make the decision on QB?

And here’s another obvious reality, if Marrone struggles out of the gate (0-2, 1-3, etc.) how long before media, fans, etc. start talking, writing, even YELLING, that Coughlin should come out of the ivory tower and start doing what he’s done best: be the head coach.

So, obviously, there’s optimism in J’ville right now, but as we’ve done above, a closer examination shows there is potential here already for real problems, too… and quickly this off season.

We will be watching and reminding that we weren’t fans of this set-up for the Jags from the beginning.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:


And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus involved in two sexual assault allegations

Florida Football Insiders



Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars traded for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus last year to re-unite him with former head coach Doug Marrone and give him a fresh start on living up to his first round draft pick expectations.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, Dareus is involved in not one, but two sexual assault complaints.

First, it was learned Wednesday afternoon that a woman in Houston, TX, has accused Dareus of having unprotected sex with her in April, while she was unconscious. And she further claims that Dareus gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages.

“News 4” in Jacksonville reporter Chris Parenteau had more on that allegation:

News 4 reported on it’s evening newscast Wednesday that there’s no criminal complaint with Houston Police against Dareus at this time.

The accuser’s attorney did give this statement to the station Wednesday afternoon:

“There are civil and criminal laws in both Florida and Texas that address circumstances where someone knowingly exposes another to sexually transmitted diseases. As of now, we are not aware that any criminal charges have been filed in this matter. Our focus is on protecting our client’s right to recover damages for the severe physical and emotional harm that’s been caused to her.”

The situation is further confused by the accuser in the Houston case admitting to having consensual sex on multiple occasions with Dareus after the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, there is another allegation that came to light on Wednesday, involving Dareus and others, that an alleged sexual assault occurred at a Tampa mansion in January of 2017. In a civil complaint originally filed in December of last year, an unidentified Las Vegas woman says that Dareus and members of his “entourage” sexually assaulted her after a night of partying.

The woman accused Dareus formally in an amendment to her civil suit in Hillsborough County Court in January. Dareus and his lawyers are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed at an August 9th hearing.

Dareus played in 12 total games for the Jaguars after the trade with the Bills. He had one regular season sack, but excelled in the playoffs with sacks in the Pittsburgh win and the narrow loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He had 10 total tackles in the three post season games.

The 28 year old Dareus, a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, is scheduled to make $10.2 million dollars this season in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars only comment to the media on Wednesday evening was that they were aware of the allegations and monitoring the situation.

Dareus’ agent had not returned calls or emails seeking comment from them or Dareus on the civil lawsuits and sexual assault allegations.

Obviously, in addition to the seriousness of the allegations, even in civil court, the NFL will likely be investigating the situation soon under the league’s personal conduct policy.

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