JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday was anything but a slow news day for the Jaguars. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was fired. Starting quarterback Blake Bortles was benched. Team captain Leonard Fournette was suspended 1-game by the NFL for a fight in Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.
It was Jacksonville’s seventh straight loss in what has become a dreadful season. It’s hard to fathom that the Jaguars began this year as one the favorites to reach the Super Bowl.
As a guest on 1010XL Tuesday morning Jaguars’ executive vice president of football operation Tom Coughlin explained the mindset of their front office going into the 2018 season.
“We were a whistle away from the Super Bowl,” said Coughlin, referring to the Jaguars loss in last year’s AFC Championship game. “That’s my position. So tell me everyone out there. What they’re going to do about your football team in that circumstance. Are you going to fill in other pieces and try to compete? That’s what we tried to do. The nature of the game got us so we go back to the drawing board.”
Coughlin joined 1010XL to support his Jay Fund Foundation radio-thon but also addressed several other football related items.
This season scoring has skyrocketed across the NFL. The Saints, Chiefs and Rams have three of the best records in the league. All three teams are averaging 37.2, 36.7, and 35.4 points respectively. NFL rules have been set up to favor teams with high-powered offenses.
In Jacksonville the opposite approach has been taken. The Jaguars have dedicated the majority of their salary cap to players on defense. Despite a 3-8 record, Coughlin still trusts in their methods.
“I believe in a certain way of playing the game,” said Coughlin. “I believe you check the records and see where people’s money is being spent. Is it offense or defense and how are they going about it? It’s certainly the direction the league wants to go in. All those things are up. Points are up. But our formula a year ago was play great defense, run the ball and do a superb job of the play action pass. Obviously I still believe in that very much.”
According to Coughlin the Rams offensive play action scheme isn’t that different from what they would like to do here in Jacksonville. He noted there difference is the accuracy their quarterback throws the ball with and their receiver’s ability to get open.
“If you’re going to run the football you’ve got to have the explosive plays,” said Coughlin. “You’ve got to put the ball down the field. There was a time when we had all kinds of big plays and this was the style of offense being played. That’s the formula you still have to get to in my opinion”
During the 20 minute interview Coughlin didn't directly address the status of Bortles and his future on the team. One thing that was very clear is that the Jaguars issues aren’t just on the offensive side of the ball.
“Our numbers are down all over the place,” said Coughlin. “Our sacks are way down. Our pressure is down. Our turnovers are huge, they’re out of sight. Our penalties. The way we behave on the field is ridiculous. There are a lot of things that are going to get addressed.”