JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Count Tom Coughlin among those who are thrilled with the construction of a new flex field outside of EverBank Field.
The Jaguars' Executive Vice President of Football Operations spoke to reporters shortly after the team's "State of the Franchise" presentation on Wednesday. He said the impending completion of the new in-door practice facility will help the Jaguars counter Jacksonville's unpredictable weather.
"It will be a great spot for jog-thru’s, inclement weather," Coughlin said. "I remember when we were here before, we had a torrential downpour for a week. We had no place to practice, so we ended up on the concrete floor at the old Memorial [Arena] over there. This will be a huge help.”
While the Jaguars will have the flex facility in short order, their planning for the offseason program remains ongoing.
“It is not settled yet. We are going to have to wait," Coughlin said. "You are going to have to wait.”
New head coach Doug Marrone was promoted from interim coach after being with the team last season. His prior history with the team has the offseason program's start date in question.
Typically, new head coaches get a two-week head start on the program. With Marrone being a former interim, there is a bit of uncertainty as to how the Jaguars can move forward.
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“Let’s wait and see," Coughlin said. "Let’s wait and see. We are optimistic. We are optimistic.”
The Jaguars are in the middle of wooing outside free agents during the league's legal tampering period. Coughlin said those talks are going well.
“There is a lot of conversation going on and hopefully it is going to be productive," Coughlin said. "We won’t know that.”
The team will look to put several pens to paper on free agent deals starting on March 9 at 4 p.m. Coughlin has been around free agency since the NFL implemented it in the mid 90's. He knows how to play the market.
“That is pretty much the way it is in free agency," Coughlin said. "You have different levels of divisions of players and people trying to, right off the bat, to do the best they can with those that are recognized as the best.”
More News and Notes
- The Jaguars are involved in the hunt for Houston Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye, a league source confirms. The team has been very aggressive in the cornerback market and may end up bringing in multiple players at the position. I'm told that if they are unable to add Bouye, they have a backup plan in place.
- Veteran wide receiver Bryan Walters is set to hit the free agent market on Thursday but the Jaguars would still like him back. He currently has a two-year offer on the table. He has received interest and had discussions with others teams during the legal tampering period.
- The Jaguars extended an exclusive rights free agent tender to free safety Peyton Thompson. The defensive back led the team with nine special teams tackles last season.
- While the Jaguars are looking to make the running game a priority, don't expect them to pay top dollar for a lead blocker. Multiple league sources have said the Jaguars are not involved in talks for the top fullbacks on the market. The team is more likely to sign a low-level veteran later in free agency or draft the position in the later rounds.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.