It’s nearly go time in Jacksonville.
New Jaguars executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin plans to do his best Izzy Mandelbaum impersonation when the players report for Phase One of the offseason workout program. At a Tuesday event for season-ticket holders, Coughlin made clear his intention to ensure that players are working hard and not hardly working.
“When the players report, I’m going to be in the weight room watching who the workers are on this team,” Coughlin said, via Sam Kouvaris of WJXT.
The NFL Players Association, which already is keeping its eye on Coughlin, may be ready to argue that Coughlin isn’t permitted to attend the strength and conditioning sessions, which are limited to “only full-time or part-time strength and conditioning coaches.” But while the relevant rule says that “no other coaches shall be allowed . . . to . . . observe activities,” it doesn’t expressly prevent executives from watching the players work.
Still, Coughlin’s history as a coach — and his obvious intent to coach the players when coaching is needed — makes it an interpretation that the team would likely lose, if push comes to shove.
The NFLPA has not responded to a request for comment on the issue. (Maybe they think they’re better than us.) Given the union’s intention to watch Coughlin, chances are it’s just a matter of time before the NFLPA claims there’s no chance Coughlin personally will be urging players to take it up a notch.