Thirteen months ago, the Jaguars were a floundering NFL franchise at the bottom of the league in almost everything. From losses on the field, lack of attendance, to bumbling drafts (Justin Blackmon, Blaine Gabbert, Tyson Alualu, anyone?), they were the example of “what not to do.”
Then, owner Shad Khan finally got it right.
Following the lead of team’s like the Dolphins, who brought in a proven successful veteran “old school” former coach (Bill Parcells) to run the football operations and got back to the playoffs, Khan brought back Tom Coughlin. Coughlin was the original coach/GM architect of the Jags rise in the 90’s, and his two Super Bowl wins with the Giants gave him all the credibility needed to reset the culture in the organization.
Coughlin advised Khan to keep stability and interim coach Doug Marrone (old school style like Coughlin) and also keep GM David Caldwell, obviously convincing the owner that this setup would work.
They signed quality free agents Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye to bolster the defense. Then drafted Leonard Fournette last April, an explosive big power running back that they really hadn’t had, since Fred Taylor, which bolstered a floundering offense. And, it proved that the Jaguars not only were headed in the right direction, but were doing it in a way that would be able to sustain.
And now, Khan has sent a clear message not only to his franchise, but to others about stability: He’s rewarded/extended the contracts of all three men for two more seasons (through 2021).
And we like, Khan’s approach in a statement released Friday afternoon, “The decision to extend the contracts of Tom, Dave and Doug isn’t so much a reward for last season, which no doubt was impressive, as it is to recognize their importance to our football team this coming season and for years to follow.” Khan continued, “we’re past celebrating the accomplishments of our division title and playoff run, and now it’s time to take the next step. We need the right leadership firmly in place to make that happen, and it’s good to know we’ll have that with Tom, Dave and Doug secure in their roles with the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
The Jags know that they have things in place to succeed, but now, it’s about continuity and being able to sustain.
They took care of “continuity” Friday.
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