August 01, 2002

Pete Mitchell is rejoining the Jacksonville Jaguars, returning to a Tom Coughlin-led team at a time when many former Jags like Mike Hollis are happy to escape. Can Coughlin's Tom Landry-like approach to coaching still work in the NFL?

posted by rcade to football at 06:15 PM - 6 comments

Well, it worked pretty well from 1996-1999, until the cap came down hard on the Jaguars. I'm very interested to see how it works out this year, with all the new players on the team. Coughlin is not that much different style-wise from Bill Parcells. I believe that if Parcells were coaching instead of sitting in a studio, he'd do well too. It's all about commanding respect from your players, which I think Coughlin does. Otherwise, the Jags would have been much worse the last couple seasons.

posted by bcb2k2 at 07:16 PM on August 01

Does Parcells have the same reputation for ticky-tack fines that Coughlin does? As a North Florida resident and Jags fan, I like Coughlin and think he's one of the more entertaining coaches in the league because of his famously sour demeanor, his refusal to let any assistant coaches talk to the press, and his competitiveness. However, I was surprised when team owner Wayne Weaver didn't try to dump Coughlin and hire Steve Spurrier, who would've given the team what it needs most: ticket sales in the next three years, which are likely to be lousy. Jacksonville is one of the smallest metropolitan areas with an NFL team, and this is starting to matter as the team languishes in salary cap purgatory. The town can't fill the stadium any more, games are frequently blacked out, and a fickle sports town that would rather be at the beach is tuning out the franchise. I don't see how Coughlin can get the support of this community or the players for the years it will take to become respectable again.

posted by rcade at 11:03 PM on August 01

Tom Coughlin seems to have benefited most by the current expansion team draft system than overall coaching style. I say give him 5 more years with the Jaguars and then judge his coaching ability. He had great tools (with some injury juggling) last year but failed to produce. As for Parcells, he simply jumped around too much to make any serious marks in coaching. Sign him to the Texans for five years and see how he does. His career record and reputation relies more on opportunism than actual coaching. That's why he's in the booth. If he found a team with solid players, a shot at the playoffs,and that would sign him for only two years, he'd be all over it. He is not. Unfortunately he doubts his own coaching abilities as much as I do.

posted by ttrendel at 11:34 PM on August 01

Tom Coughlin seems to have benefited most by the current expansion team draft system than overall coaching style. I say give him 5 more years with the Jaguars and then judge his coaching ability. He's heading into his eighth year there.  What kind of coaching analysis requires thirteen years to evaluate?  I think we have a pretty clear idea of what kind of a coach Tom Coughlin is. As for Parcells, he simply jumped around too much to make any serious marks in coaching. Well, you know, except for two Super Bowl wins with the Giants, turning a dismal New England franchise into a Super Bowl team, and taking a 1-15 Jets team and bringing it to 12 wins and the AFC championship game two years later.  Pretty serious marks, if you ask me. He was Giants coach eight years, Patriots coach four, and Jets coach three.  Not as much jumping around as you might think. Sign him to the Texans for five years and see how he does. Has them in the playoffs in two years, like every other team he's taken over?  (That's not an exaggeration.) His career record and reputation relies more on opportunism than actual coaching. What are you basing this on?  He takes teams that are in the toilet and turns them into winners.  He's anything but an opportunist. If he found a team with solid players, a shot at the playoffs,and that would sign him for only two years, he'd be all over it. Not that he's ever worked for only two years, and not that he couldn't retire in the middle of his contract, but doesn't that describe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job Parcells turned down?  They offered him a three-year deal, which again would be his shortest stint coaching. Parcells doesn't need an opportunity.  When given a team in the tank with little forseeable hope, he brings in good players and coaches the hell out of them, as his entire coaching / GM history indicates. He's the finest coach of our generation (depending on whether or not you feel Bill Walsh is part of "our generation"). Unfortunately he doubts his own coaching abilities as much as I do. Well, my theory is that he just doesn't want the stress, or the stress-induced heart attacks.  And also I disagree with every single point you made.

posted by nath at 01:45 AM on August 02

I agree with you on Parcells, nath. He has shown an amazing ability to turn around a franchise that has been given up for dead. The Jets, prior to his hiring, were so bad that owner Leon Hess told the press that he was despairing of ever getting them back to the Super Bowl before he died. No one thought that franchise was close to playoff caliber when Parcells took over, and he was one game shy of the Super Bowl two years later.

posted by rcade at 12:54 PM on August 03

Yeah, absolutely.  The idea that he's an opportunist is laughable.  Now the only real debate about him is when he'll get into the Hall of Fame, depending on how long Hall voters want to 'punish' him for wavering on possibly taking another coaching job.

posted by nath at 06:40 PM on August 03

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