This could be just the change of scenery Thomas needs to get his career back on track. After a pair of Pro Bowl seasons in Denver, he was a colossal disappointment under a monstrous five-year, $46 million deal in Jacksonville.
Thomas struggled to develop chemistry with Blake Bortles after missing the beginning of the 2015 season with finger surgery and returning at less than peak football shape in October. Hampered by ankle and elbow injuries prior to his season-ending fractured tailbone last year, Thomas finished his second Jacksonville campaign with just 281 yards and four touchdowns on 30 receptions.
When Tom Coughlin rejoined the Jacksonville Jaguars as executive vice president of football operations, I instantly wondered how my old coach would impact the team from his office instead of the sidelines. The two-time Super Bowl winner spent 20 seasons in the NFL as a head coach delivering his message from a lectern at the front of the room each day. But his new role would require him to oversee the operation from afar, while GM David Caldwell and cheap nfl jerseys and coach Doug Marrone carry out his vision for the team.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little skeptical about Coughlin serving as the top executive without acting as the chess master on the field. I played for the Jaguars in 1996 and ’97 when he wore all of the big hats in the building and controlled everything, from the office to the field. Coughlin consistently outlined his expectations for the organization and did everything in his power to make sure that the team played up to the standard. From imposing “Coughlin Time” (meetings begin five minutes prior to scheduled time) to the infamous “Concentration Line” at the edge of the practice field (once you crossed it, it was all business), he set the stage for our success by encouraging the team to pay close attention to the details.
Thought to be a hot head-coaching candidate at the time, Marrone was passed over for several open positions, most notably the New York Jets, who hired Todd Bowles. Marrone has spent the past two years mostly in anonymity in Jacksonville — aside from a memorable defense of the New York rap scene.
Given Marrone’s experience running a team, it’s logical that general manager Dave Caldwell handed him the reins to help guide the careening Jags to the end of another wickedly disappointing season. Caldwell later told reporters that Marrone is a candidate for the permanent gig, “regardless of what happens in the next few weeks.”
Khan mentioned that general manager Dave Caldwell “agreed and will now be charged with exploring all options to hire the best head coach possible” to lead the Jaguars. Khan also mentioned the team’s “extremely talented” roster, another sign of support for Caldwell. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Caldwell will name an interim head coach on Monday, and added Bradley was on the team flight back to Jacksonville.
This could be seen as an act of mercy for Bradley. In a statement after last season, Khan said that Bradley knew the Jaguars had to be “well above” where they finished a season ago when the team finished 5-11. The Jaguars spent big money in free agency and instead took a step back. It was only a matter of time before Bradley was fired, and Sunday’s collapse provided a good moment for a clean break.
The Jack hype train has been quiet this offseason thanks mostly to his struggles to get on the field last year. The Jaguars included him in just 239 total snaps just months after he made up one of the more heralded 1-2 punches in the 2016 draft (Jacksonville hit on cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the first round).
On film, Jack showed what you’d expect from a rookie linebacker: Relentlessly eager to make plays, frequently around the ball but occasionally in over his head. Will a shift to a more traditional defense under new coordinator Todd Wash accentuate Jack’s play-making abilities or wash them away? Having him function as a part-time 4-3 under SAM linebacker or “OTTO” seemed to be too much at times, especially when offenses attacked the intermediate passing game.
With no guaranteed money left on the contract, cutting House saves Jacksonville $6 million on the salary cap. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week the Jaguars likely would release House if they couldn’t trade him away.
The move leaves the Jags with just four corners on the roster heading into free agency. Behind first-round stud Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Colvin, Josh Johnson and Doran Grant round out the position. Prince Amukamara, who took over the starting gig last season, is set to hit free agency. Jacksonville reportedly is aiming at re-signing the veteran corner.