JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made the first of what could be many changes to the organization Wednesday, relieving executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin of his duties.
The move to fire Coughlin came days after the NFL Players Association released a scathing statement criticizing the team for fining players for not going to team-mandated rehabilitation or treatments at Jaguars facilities during the offseason, a period where teams can not enforce such activities.
"Within the past hour I informed Tom Coughlin that he was being relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President of Football Operations of the Jacksonville Jaguars, effective this evening," Khan said in a statement. "I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone’s best interests but, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately."
Coughlin was hired as the Jaguars' top front office executive in 2017 and helped mold Jacksonville into a 10-6 football team that made it all the way to the AFC Championship game. Since then, Jacksonville has gone 10-20 and has had one personnel fiasco after another.
This includes the sudden retirement of linebacker Telvin Smith and the deterioration of the team's relationship with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in October for a haul of draft picks after he deemed he would no longer play for Jacksonville's front office.
"I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map," Khan said. "General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high."
This is the first public comment Khan has made since the NFLPA released its statement against the franchise on Monday. Wednesday, several Jaguars players spoke in the locker room about the culture of the organization and how often it fines its players. The NFLPA said in its statement that over 25% of the grievances filed over the last two seasons have been filed against Jacksonville.
Coughlin served as Jacksonville's first-ever head coach from 1995-2002 before coaching the New York Giants to two Super Bowl wins. This now marks the second time Coughlin has been fired by the Jaguars organization.