Tom Coughlin’s second stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t as memorable as his first one. A major divide between Coughlin’s “old-school” way of running things and the current generation of players led toward a disastrous tenure as the team’s executive vice president of football operations.
Even though the Jaguars reached the AFC Championship Game in Coughlin’s first year at the helm, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach wasn’t well liked by his players. Jalen Ramsey, who eventually had his fill of Coughlin and the Jaguars organization, detailed on Aqib Talib’s “Catchin Fades” podcast the team’s disdain for Coughlin.
“To be honest, we didn’t like Tom Coughlin. That’s what it came down to,” Ramsey said. “That was his first year in there and we were a sorry team the year before. We went from having a relaxed coaching staff that let us be adults, but we were too young for that at the time. We were too young a team to know how to really treat that.
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
“When they brought in Coughlin, he went compete opposite. It felt like…even worse than college at times. We felt like half the stuff he was trying to implement wasn’t even about football. You have to wear white socks. It doesn’t matter if I wear white socks or black socks — the receiver is gonna get shut down regardless.”
Ramsey and Coughlin butted heads several times in Jacksonville, one of the most notable being in 2019 when Ramsey was not present for the first day of voluntary offseason workouts. Coughlin didn’t mention Ramsey’s name, but criticized him for not reporting. Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith were the only players who were not at voluntary minicamp.
“We’re very close to 100% attendance, and quite frankly, all our players should be here,” Coughlin said, via Jacksonville.com. “Building the concept of team, working hard side by side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals.
“Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team.”
That was enough to trigger Ramsey, who responded on Twitter with a message for Coughlin.
“Fully aware & ‘voluntary’ meaning I don’t HAVE to be there BUT they know the EXACT REASONS I am not,” Ramsey tweeted at the time. “My teammates know it’s ALL love & know I’ll be ready when it’s time!”
Ramsey was traded from the Jaguars in the fall of 2019, having enough of Coughlin and the front office. The divorce was inevitable.