Former Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen is best known (maybe the word is “notorious”) for a pair of 2006 arrests — one for driving drunk but clothed and the other for driving sober but naked.
On Wednesday, Frank Frangie of 1010XL in Jacksonville reported that the Jaguars will be hiring Cullen, who worked in 2009 as an assistant coach with Idaho State.
Paul Kukarsky of ESPN.com reports that Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver recommending that Cullen be given another chance.
“Joe paid a heavy price, and rightly so,” Goodell wrote. “But to his credit,
throughout this process he has always accepted responsibility and has
willingly embraced the result as an opportunity to become a better
person and role model. Not only has he fully complied with the
obligations that were imposed on him, but he has undertaken several
others on his own. . . .
“Having had the benefit of several
conversations with him as well as reports from a number of sources, I
think he is an example of our primary objective under the policy — to
provide assistance and support that ultimately rebuild reputations and
extend careers. I have little doubt that he will continue to progress
and will represent the Jaguars in a positive manner.”
Coincidentally, the Jaguars recently parted ways with another controversial name on the NFL coaching tree — Mike Tice, who admittedly scalped Super Bowl tickets and who served as head coach of the Vikings during the infamous Love Boat scandal. Tice is the new offensive line coach in Chicago.
In Jacksonville, it’s unclear whether Cullen would displace defensive line coach Ted Monachino, or whether Cullen would occupy some other position on the staff.
A native of Massachusetts, the 42-year-old Cullen coached at various colleges before joining the Lions in 2006. He was fired along with coach Rod Marinelli and others (except for the front-office guys who got promotions) after Detroit’s disastrous 0-16 season.
And maybe that’s the best news for Cullen. With all the focus on whether he’s a potential menace to the folks in Jacksonville, no one is paying much attention to the question of whether his role in one of the worst teams in NFL history disqualifies him from ever having another job at the pro level.