The Jacksonville Jaguars are back in Tom Coughlin's hands.
Owner Shad Khan spoke glowingly about Thursday morning about his new executive vice president of football operations, noting that Coughlin will have power to "oversee" the entire roster.
"What enthuses me the most is Tom welcomes the challenge of overseeing all facets of football operations," Khan said. "And given his roots in Jacksonville, combined with his experience and pedigree, there couldn't be possibly anyone better to accept the challenge."
Coughlin interviewed for the head coaching position but said Thursday the executive role was the job he preferred.
"I think this is the role I really anticipated and wanted at this point in my career," the 70-year-old said. "The idea of being able to discuss whatever the possibility might be was what I was expressing. But this is the role I really wanted."
The owner said Coughlin was involved in hiring Doug Marrone, noting the EVP provided his two best choices, one of which was the new coach.
Khan made it clear that Coughlin will have the final say on football matters -- including the 53-man roster -- which presumably takes some power away from GM Dave Caldwell.
"We've got the three key people here leading the football operation," Khan said. "And most decisions I think come to a natural conclusion what the right thing is, but if by circumstance it wasn't, then obviously Tom has the football operations, so he would be making the final say.
The first declaration from Coughlin was crystal clear:
"Blake Bortles is our quarterback," he stated.
Other notes from the Jaguars news conference:
»Marrone is on board with Bortles, saying "obviously" Blake is the starter right now. The coach declined to get into what steps the signal-caller needs to improve upon in the offseason.
»While the Coughlin hire appears to put a dent in Caldwell's power, the GM clearly still has the owner's faith. On multiple occasions Khan discussed the "promising roster" in Jacksonville.
"...this roster has more talent than our record showed," Khan said.
»Neither Coughlin nor Marrone would comment on the makeup of the roster or specific players, stating they preferred to keep those evaluations in-house.
»Khan said the team interviewed several worthy coaches, but "it wasn't close" between Marrone and the other candidates.
»Marrone said no assistant positions have been "defined" at this stage and wouldn't discuss candidates or plans moving forward.
»Given that the Jags turned to Marrone, there were legitimate questions about why the team didn't move on from Gus Bradley earlier in a lost season to give the interim a longer look. Khan and Caldwell both said they had "no regrets" in waiting to fire Bradley, with the owner noting the team wanted to give the ex-coach as much time as possible to turn the season around.