"We have five games to play and everyone has a lot to prove."
Jaguars' Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin referenced that remaining, five-game window no less than five times during his previously unannounced, 15 minute press conference on Wednesday morning. Coughlin had not spoken publicly about the franchise since the annual State of the Jaguars event in the spring.
"You know my philosophy," Coughlin told reporters Wednesday. "The head coach is the voice of the program. I feel at this point that I'm needed to speak. Doug [Marrone] has come before you literally every day with his message. If I can reinforce that message, that's why I'm here."
At 4-7, Coughlin's message to Jaguars fans: keep supporting us. He emphasized how young this year's squad is and pointed out the "good" that has been accomplished (from first-round draftee Josh Allen's record-setting rookie season to Leonard Fournette's bounce-back) as opposed to the "bad." When asked about the potential for firings or dismissals, Coughlin maintained: it is now a "five game season," and "everyone has something to prove."
He also addressed the Jaguars' continued defensive struggles against the run and the transition from Gardner Minshew to Nick Foles at quarterback. The Jaguars signed Foles to an $88 million contract this offseason, but have yet to see their star acquisition lead them to a victory.
"He's played two football games," Coughlin explained. "Gardner played very well, did not play very well in London, Nick was ready to come back. That was the basis of the decision at that time."
During the tumultuous, 2018 season, Coughlin only spoke publicly once during the season: during the annual, TC Jay Fund radio telethon on 1010XL / 92.5 FM. That fundraiser's 2019 installment takes place next week.