American Football

"He has been sacked because he has zero social skills" | Tom Coughlin's Jaguars exit

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

18:57 20 Dec 2019

A three-time Superbowl winner with the New York Giants, it appears the modern game has finally outgrown Tom Coughlin's hardened philosophy of strict rules and fines.

The 73-year-old was relieved from his position as Executive Vice-President of football operations at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday after the owners grew tired of rules such as fining players who weren't wearing the correct colour socks at training.

It has been documented that Coughlin's illiberal leadership and policy of fines was alienating players and detracting from the franchise's ability to attract signings.

On Off The Ball's American football show, The Snap, analyst Cian Fahey and Ronan Mullen discussed Coughlin's self-inflicted demise at the Jaguars.

"It's that he treats grown adults like children," Fahey said of Coughlin's sacking. "He thinks they are an infantile class that he has to manage and order around and control and tell them what to dress and where to be all the time.

"Dante Fowler was the player who was fined $700,000 because he wouldn't go to the Jaguar's facility in the offseason, which isn't a requirement," Fahey commented of the case that was later appealed and won by the NFL Players Association.

"And you know you've messed up when the NFL Players Association is winning because the NFL Players Association wins nothing."

Recalling some of the testimony of Coughlin's success while at the New York Giants, Mullen noted that Coughlin had been credited with "softening up" from his strict approach.

"I remember the 2007 'America's Game' where Michael Strahan is talking about Tom Coughlin softening up and that's the reason they won it and he took them to an In-N-Out Burger when they got to the Superbowl and all this - clearly [that softening up] was not true. Twelve years later he has been sacked because he has zero social skills."

While Coughlin's sacking may be the biggest issue for the club this week, Fahey added that the franchise has a lot to do to restore its reputation.

"They have built a very poor team on the field in the sense that the style and the philosophy of what they wanted to do were wrong for this league but they did have a lot of talent on the roster.

"So when they took over initially they want to the AFC championship game and they were scared to throw the ball at the end of the first half because they had Blake Bortles as their quarterback. Then after that game, they signed Blake Bortles on an extension and then benched him straight away because they just did not have a direction.

"So this can only be good for the Jaguars who have loads of draft picks but it's very hard to trust this franchise at all."


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