Jacksonville Jaguars: Tom Coughlin in danger of losing team

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images /

Tom Coughlin will always be a Jacksonville Jaguars legend. But for current players adjusting to his newest role, his act may be growing stale.

As far as the Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans are concerned, Tom Coughlin will forever be a legend. Regardless of whether that elusive Super Bowl will ever be realized under his watch, this won’t change. He was the original head coach nearly 25 years ago and still remains the winningest by far.

Coughlin took an expansion team to the conference championship in its second year, then did it again three years later. Yes, he actually won a couple Lombardi Trophies for his next employer, but let’s not hold that against him.

Where there is legitimate concern, however, is questionable interactions Coughlin has had with his players since returning to Jacksonville as the VP of Football Operations. Always known for his transparency, the incidences of curious communication methods have started piling up.

This has culminated in the latest news with All-Pro Linebacker Telvin Smith’s shocking announcement that he’s stepping away from the game:

The passing comment of mentioning the rumors of being traded could very well be a subtle jab at Coughlin and the rest of management, especially considering that countless strangers on Instagram and Twitter discovered his plans before they did, as noted by veteran Jags reporter and ESPN.com staff writer Michael DiRocco:

"“Smith did not notify the Jaguars about his intention to not play this season before his announcement on Instagram and had not been in contact with the club for much of the offseason. He has not been attending the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason conditioning program, which began in April, and coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell had not been able to get in contact with Smith.”"

Just last month, Coughlin found himself in hot water by blasting Smith and teammate Jalen Ramsey for not attending the Jaguars’ voluntary workouts, apparently failing to understand the definition of “voluntary” (along with proper PR etiquette). Prior to that, he publicly chastised two additional players, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon, for their sideline behavior during the team’s season finale.

Meanwhile, Coughlin was forced to do an about-face when the team finally ended the Blake Bortles Experiment, mere months after giving him a $54 million dollar extension subsequent to the Jags’ magical 2017 run. The reality that seemed clear to everyone but him was that the success the Jaguars experienced was more often in spite of their quarterback, as opposed to because of him.

The evidence is becoming increasingly apparent that a roster with its share of young, volatile personalities may not respond well to a 72 year-old volatile personality, especially in today’s age of generational entitlement. And the platforms Coughlin has been using to voice his displeasure — fairly or not — could be adding fuel to the dumpster fire that the 2018 left.

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And unless a kinder, gentler Tom Coughlin resurfaces (or at least a quieter one), there may be more Telvin Smiths to follow. Because, although players will respect a legend with two Super Bowl rings, they may be losing respect for this particular man who’s wearing them.