Technically, former Giants coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin’s title with the Jacksonville Jaguars is “Executive Vice President”, which, as far as we can tell, seems to mean he can get involved with just about any aspect of pulling the Jags out of the basement that he sees fit. That’s why they’re in town this week, after all.
Coughlin’s been roaming the practice fields alongside the rest of the Jacksonville coaching staff, and so far, he’s had nothing but great things to say about practicing against New England and the Patriots coaching staff. The former Giants head coach sounds so enthusiastic about joint practices that it’s almost...what’s the word...un-Coughlin-like?
“Obviously, they’re the world champions,” Coughlin said after practice Tuesday. “If you’re going to make a decision on who you’re going to work with, there is nothing better than working with Bill Belichick and the world championship team.”
“This is great working against another team,” Coughlin said, praising coach Doug Marrone. “Of course, when the coaches know each other and can trust one another and all the drills run accordingly, nothing but good work.”
On Tuesday, Coughlin had a little chat with Patriots owner Robert Kraft — but he insisted there was no ribbing about the NFL championship rings he won at New England’s expense.
“That really wasn’t brought up,” Coughlin said.
Told that not many executive vice presidents of football operations are out watching drills, Coughlin said, “Not many come from where I come from.”
“I enjoy being on the field,” he said. “It’s what I’ve always done and it’s been good.”
Being out on the field “gives me a better opportunity to evaluate,” he said. “I can see firsthand and not listen to somebody else tell me about them. I’m able to make my own evaluations, which are a part of a number of evaluations, but nevertheless, this is a good part of it for me.”
And as an added bonus, after a few notable inter-squad rumbles during joint practices last summer, nobody’s thrown any punches at each other yet, and we’re only one day away from the first preseason game!
The Jaguars official website also chipped in a few more thoughts from Coughlin on this week’s work:
“We’re not tackling, so you’re not going to see that,” Coughlin said. “I only wish we had a nine-on-seven [run-oriented work] today, which we didn’t have. It’s been a good experience and I think guys are getting better. Probably the best way to explain it is improvement comes in increments; there’s not a huge jump. We’re taking it all in stride.”
Coughlin was most expansive when addressing the physical training camp of Head Coach Doug Marrone.
“You can see how Doug wants to do it,” Coughlin said. “Doug’s got them in pads, practices are long. The situations are there. We have an outstanding number of reps that these guys are taking. They’re adjusting to their pads, and this has helped.
That’s the purpose and his idea is to maximize our repetitions. So far, at home, working has been very good. One of the issues has been that we haven’t had it as hot as you like it and I’m sure that’ll be the way it is when we get back.”
Ah, yes, the days of two-a-days and Oklahoma drills till the sun goes down are no more.
In the most important news of the week, though, the Patriots and Jaguars kick off their week one preseason matchup on Thursday afternoon at 7:30pm eastern time.
We made it.