Nepotism is a fact of life in the NFL, and it’s currently working to the benefit of the son-in-law of Jaguars executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin.
The team has announced the hiring of Chris Snee as a college scout, with the kind of fanfare that rarely if ever occurs when an NFL team hires a college scout. A formal press release devoted to the arrival has been issued, including a biography (it doesn’t mention the connection to the boss) and a quote from Snee, who was also drafted by his then-future-father-in-law when Coughlin coached the Giants.
“During my 10 years playing in the NFL, I took a lot of pride in how hard I prepared and the amount of information I was able to obtain through the film I consumed,” Snee said. “Watching film and evaluating collegiate linemen are two very different tasks, but I am going to work hard, keep my head down and learn from my peers. Scouting has always been a field that interested me, so I’m excited about the opportunity to join this staff and I’m thrilled about the challenge ahead.”
Snee also will assist offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and assistant offensive line coach Tony Sparano Jr. at minicamp practices, during training-camp practices, “and as needed.”
The challenge for Snee will be to prove that he deserves the job that he possibly wouldn’t have gotten but for the decision of the organization to hire his father-in-law. Nepotism often motivates the beneficiary of it to work even harder to prove merit and worth.
Nepotism seems to be tolerated among NFL coaches and executives because so many teams have owners who hire family members. While there’s a fundamental difference between the owner of a business ensuring that it stays within the family in lieu of selling the asset and the employees of that same business keeping things in the family (and I say that as someone who owns a media company that eventually may stay within the family), a “when in Rome” vibe has developed over the decades, expanding for the purposes of NFL teams the “it’s not what you know but who you know” cliché to “who you’re related to.”