Jaguars Swan Dive Into The Abyss

Tom Coughlin is ready for some fisticuffs. At seventy-two Coughlin, executive vice president of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is ready to throw down to defend his personnel decisions.

During a radio interview Coughlin announced, “I’ll put on the gloves with anyone that wants to talk about” the team’s personnel decisions.

Coughlin and head coach, Doug Marone are old school New York tough guys who believe they can still build a winning team by concentrating on good defense and productive running games to free up play-action passing.

The NFL is a passing league and has become increasingly so since at least the 1970s. As the league has moved away from the running game, even the passing game has changed. Shorter horizontal passes, associated with Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense, are being replaced by more vertical and deep passes. The changing rules of the NFL have encouraged this shift.

The Jaguars are an anomaly and a throwback. Maybe the ghost of Ohio State coach Woody Hayes stalks the Jaguar’s headquarters. Hayes was best known for the “3 yards and a cloud of dust” offense. The Jaguars occupy the same building where Hayes throat-punched his way into early retirement during a 1978 bowl game.

Are Marone and Coughlin so old school they are out of touch and lost in the modern game? Don’t ask Coughlin as he’s likely to offer up a knuckle sandwich.

In football, as in most athletics, if you win you are a genius; lose and you’re a moron. The level of risk you take is often inconsequential. Last year Coughlin and Marone were being fitted for Mensa jackets. This year they are being measured for dunce caps and fans what them sized for straightjackets.

After losing six straight games the Jaguars were a team in trouble. Their loss to the Pittsburg Stealers, included surrendering a sixteen-point lead. Nonetheless, the game included some hopeful plays, like two interceptions from corner back Jalen Ramsey, that were encouraging for the future.  

All that changed on in Buffalo. The first quarter was a microcosm of the Jaguars season. The Jaguars offense couldn’t get out of its own way and remained scoreless in the first frame. The Bills followed up their first touchdown on the ground, with a seventy-five-yard touchdown pass. The Jaguars went from a team with issues to an organization in need of Baker Acting.

Leading running back Leonard Fournette helped the Jaguars launch a comeback but was determined to not be the hero of this game. At the end of the third quarter he got involved in a fight and was kicked out of the game. His disqualification sealed the fate of the Jaguars on Sunday and led to a suspension for following game.

The Bills, alternatively, found unorthodox ways to generate offense. Bills rookie quarterback, Josh Allen, ran for more the ninety yards, including a touchdown.

By Monday morning offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, was tossed out the front door and quarterback, Blake Bortles was benched. The offensive plays will be called by quarterback coach, Scott Milanovich and Cody Kessler will take over at quarterback.

It’s anybody’s guess if the team will try to win out or take a dive for a better ticket in the quarterback lottery.

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