Tom Coughlin Defends Jaguars' Moves: 'I'll Put the Gloves on with Anybody'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on November 25, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Tom Coughlin, the Jacksonville Jaguarsexecutive vice president of football operations, doesn't believe the team's roster moves last offseason are the reason for its current 3-8 record. 

Appearing on 1010 XL's The Drill with Dan Hicken and Jeff Prosser on Tuesday (h/t ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco), Coughlin explained the front office's thinking after reaching the AFC Championship Game in January:

"We were a whistle [away from the Super Bowl]. We're a whistle [away and] we're in the Super Bowl. And that's my position, OK? So tell me, everyone out there, what they're going to do in that circumstance about your football team. 

"Aren't you going to fill other pieces in and try to be as good as you can be? And we tried, didn't we? Well, the nature of the game got us, so we go back to the drawing board. But I'll put the gloves on with anybody that wants to talk about what [moves the team made]."

Jacksonville was one of the NFL's biggest surprises in 2017. The franchise went 10-6 to win the AFC South for the first time since the expansion to eight divisions in 2002 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007. 

One of the Jaguars' most puzzling decisions in the offseason was giving Blake Bortles a three-year extension. The No. 3 overall draft pick in 2014 was solid last year with 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns, but he hasn't played at that modest level this season. 

Bortles ranks 29th out of 34 qualified quarterbacks with 6.97 yards per attempt and is tied for 30th with a 60.4 completion percentage. His cap hit for next season is $21 million

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced on Monday that Cody Kessler would be the team's starting quarterback in Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville's offense has been held under 20 points six times in 11 games. The defending AFC South champs are currently riding a five-game losing streak that has dropped them into a tie with the New York Jets for the second-worst record in the conference.