The imprint of Tom Coughlin on the Jaguars should be obvious by now. Releasing strong-side linebacker Dan Skuta this week continued a two-month trend in which the front-office boss made one thing clear: he wants players who deliver production to match their salary.
While Coughlin is willing to spend owner Shad Khan’s money in free agency, he also recognizes the Jaguars went 3-13 for a reason in 2016 and had no problem shipping out players falling short of expectations.
Cutting Skuta wasn’t a huge departure from the Jaguars parting ways with Jared Odrick, Davon House, Julius Thomas, Sen’Derrick Marks or Roy Miller, though injuries also factored in some decisions. The point is Coughlin has few untouchables and will upgrade the team by whatever means necessary.
No doubt, quarterback Blake Bortles is watching this roster turnover and knows he better turn his game up a notch in 2017. Otherwise, it won’t be long before he’s an ex-Jaguar.
Coughlin, along with coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell, likely has a two-year window to turn this team into a playoff contender. So this immediate roster overhaul shouldn’t be the least bit surprising… .
Trivia question: Of the 12 Hall of Famers selected with the No. 4 overall pick in NFL draft history, who are the only two running backs? Hint: both played their entire career for the same franchise. Answer at bottom… .
The world would be a better place if every owner of a major professional sports team took a cue from the life of Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steelers owner who passed away Thursday. Few owners were better game ambassadors or possessed such genuine humility. The Rooney Rule was more than just legislation to give minority coaches a more equitable shot at head coaching jobs. It also reflected a right way to live… .
Florida’s Kadarius Toney is an ideal Wildcat-type quarterback with his speed and elusiveness. I bet UF coach Jim McElwain gets him four or five touches a game, but it should include an occasional pass to keep defenses guessing… .
What possible purpose does it serve Maryland president Wallace Loh to state publicly that he thinks North Carolina’s basketball program should get the “death penalty” over a long-standing academic scandal? If you want to be a university president, then act like one and don’t bring up somebody else’s dirty laundry… .
Despite excessive media coverage over the issue of resting NBA players, there’s no question the Cleveland Cavaliers losing the No. 1 seed in the playoffs by sitting LeBron James and Kyree Irving against the Miami Heat was a terrible look. You can’t disrespect the game like that… .
Trivia answer: Walter Payton (1975) and Gale Sayers (1965) of the Chicago Bears… .
I’m on vacation next week and will return for NFL Draft week.
Gene.firstname.lastname@example.org: (904) 359-4540