Last year’s Jaguars were pushed around, flattened and reduced to salt by the rest of the NFL.
Veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson doesn’t expect that to happen under Jacksonville’s new-look regime, telling the team’s official website “it’s a lot more serious” with coach Doug Marrone installed as head coach under new executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin.
“Marrone’s not taking any BS, and I think that’s the way it should be,” Jackson said. “He’s handling this with an iron fist, and guys are conforming, enjoying the time and understanding that we need to win some games.”
The fresh faces have preached “toughness” from the start, with Coughlin saying in February: “This league can benefit from more of (a tough) attitude. This team can. You’ve got to play through some things.”
Understandably, Coughlin wasn’t thrilled with what he inherited. Winning rarely happened under former coach Gus Bradley, as Jacksonville sunk to an inglorious 14-48 mark over the past four seasons.
“Going 3-13 is not acceptable,” Jackson said. “And whatever we need to do … we’re going to do what Doug says.”
This all sounds pretty in May. A better record also sounds possible after the team drafted thunderous running back Leonard Fournette and signed cornerback A.J. Bouye, massive defensive lineman Calais Campbell and safety Barry Church in free agency.
The pieces are there, but they’ve been there before. It’s time for someone — Coughlin, Marrone, anyone — to flip the switch.