JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tom Coughlin got a reality check from the NFL on Wednesday.
Watch your words.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Coughlin, the Jaguars executive vice president of football operations, received a warning letter from the league about his comments at last week’s state of the franchise event about two players, Jalen Ramsey and Telvin Smith, who skipped voluntary offseason workouts.
According to ESPN, the league said that anything that steps over the boundaries in the future could lead to discipline.
Ramsey and Smith were no-shows and Coughlin wasn’t happy about it.
"We're very close to 100 percent attendance and, quite frankly, our players should be here building the concept of team, working hard side-by-side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals," Coughlin said. "Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team.”
Coughlin said at Monday’s pre-draft luncheon that his comments were general in tone and part of his philosophy, and that he wouldn’t be addressing them further.
They drew widespread reaction, including from NFL Players Association president Eric Winston.
"This is precisely the reason players negotiated strict work rules and bright lines when it comes to offseason activities. We know, from experience, that not all coaches and executives will adhere to them and we always pursue any violations to protect our rules," Winston said.
Ramsey and his agent, David Mulugheta, both posted their reactions on Twitter, saying that they were both fully aware of what the rules were. Coach Doug Marrone said Monday that he was in contact with Ramsey and had no problems with players exercising their collectively bargained right to not be there.