Blog Entry

Jags owner Weaver regrets firing Tom Coughlin

Posted on: December 31, 2011 11:42 am
WeaverBy Josh Katzowitz

With his time as the Jaguars owner coming to an end (the team will be turned over to Shahid Khan next Wednesday), Wayne Weaver took a look back at the past 17 years he was in charge of the organization.

In this interview with the team’s official website, he was in a nostalgic mood and he shared perhaps his biggest regret as owner: firing original head coach Tom Coughlin in 2002.

At the time, Weaver said the franchise needed to go in a new direction -- Coughlin had been there eight years at that point -- and pointed out, “There's a point in this business where you have to say, 'We need innovative new ideas, new fresh approaches,' and you have to move in different directions and that's what this is really all about.”

A decade later, Weaver is remorseful about that stance (which, by the way, must make Jack Del Rio feel pretty special).

“If hindsight you could change, I’ll be honest with you: I probably would have never changed Coughlin,” Weaver said. “I would have tried to have Tom take a step back and just be the coach. I thought about it, but I didn’t think Tom would do it. I thought Tom’s pride would never allow him to take a step back and me take the general manager’s position and all power and say, ‘Go coach the football team.’ He did that in New York, but I thought it would hurt his pride too much.”

Weaver also blamed himself for not fully understanding the salary cap and all its implications when Jacksonville first entered the league. In retrospect, though, it’s easy to regret firing the coach who took your expansion team to the playoffs in four of its first eight seasons.

“If you remember, my three short list names I had narrowed it down to were (Mike) Shanahan, (Tony) Dungy and Tom,” Weaver said. “I hired Tom because I felt he was more autocratic and I felt that not knowing anything about this business I needed somebody where I could say, ‘You set the stage here. You build the platform we have to build this franchise around.’ I felt he would be the best guy to do it and as it turned out, he was the best guy to do it. We had tremendous success. Our draft choices were probably better than the average team at the time. That was Tom’s work ethic. He was very involved and he was a good evaluator. He held people accountable to develop those players.”

Alas, this seems to be Coughlin’s lot in life. He can take your expansion team and make it a winner almost immediately and he can win the Super Bowl for his second franchise, but for some reason, he always seems to be on the precipice of getting fired.

Jacksonville did it and now regrets the move. You wonder if the Giants will make the same mistake.

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Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 5:57 pm

Jags owner Weaver regrets firing Tom Coughlin

I wouldnt mind seeing Tom back down here in Jax.. the guy was a tough hard nosed coach and had a winning team for most of his tenure in Florida. The salary cap issues they had weren't all his fault and they had to get rid of most of their top players and thats when the decline happened. The dude won a super bowl a few years ago, but apparently that's not enough for the Giants fans and media.

Tom Coughlin will be welcomed with open arms back to Duval.

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:24 pm

Jags owner Weaver regrets firing Tom Coughlin

The Giants would be stupid to fire Coughlin.  In 2007 he won the Super Bowl against a perfect team!  He will never be a PR guy but he knows football.  I hope they win this weekend and go to the playoffs.  I would think that should save his job.  Jacksonville has not been the same since he has been gone.  The Giants have been up and down this year but he still has them in the hunt.  The majority of coaches in the NFL cannot say the same!

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:13 pm

Jags owner Weaver regrets firing Tom Coughlin

Then, after firing Tom C., Wayne Weaver made THE worse move in the 18 years he owned the team. Hired Shaq Harris as GM. He missed on every first round draft pick he made, and by a mile. Shaq Harris set this franchise back 10 years.

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2011 1:11 pm

Jags owner Weaver regrets firing Tom Coughlin

Most or us already knew this,  we should have never let him go.  If the Giants do not make the playoffs, he will probably be fired due to the New York fan base.  Then the question comes about, would you like to see Tom's here in Jacksonville again? 

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