WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 1:08 am.

–The Jaguars trip to New York on Sunday for the season opener is bound to have special meaning for Tom Coughlin, the team’s executive vice president of football operations. Coughlin was the Jaguars first head coach, serving in that position for nine years (1994-2002) and compiling a 68-60 regular-season record along with four playoff appearances. Following his dismissal from the Jaguars, Coughlin spent 12 years as head coach of the Giants, where he posted a 102-90 record. He led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, becoming the 13th coach in NFL history to claim multiple Super Bowl titles. He is also one of 20 head coaches with a perfect record in Super Bowl games.

–One interesting matchup in Sunday’s game will be former Jaguars offensive lineman Patrick Omameh going against the Jaguars defensive line. Omameh was a starter at left guard for Jacksonville the past two seasons and is now slated to open at right guard on the Giants offensive line. Omameh was not re-signed at the end of the 2017 season and, after weighing several offers, signed on with the Giants. He’s likely to draw the assignment of containing Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

–The Jaguars will be without defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. for this week’s game against the Giants. Fowler was handed a one-game suspension by the NFL for violation of the personal conduct policy for an incident that occurred in 2017 but that the league just acted on during the offseason. Fowler cannot be at the Jaguars facility the entire week and won’t rejoin the team until the day after Sunday’s opener with the Giants. Fowler is in the final year of his rookie contract. During the offseason, the Jaguars elected not to pick up the option on a fifth year to his deal. He’ll be looking for a new deal at the end of the season, but it’s likely to be with another team. The Jaguars will also be addressing new and bigger contracts for elite players like Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack during the offseason which will likely leave Fowler as the odd man out.

–The Jaguars voted for team captains over the weekend. Six players were selected. They included LB Telvin Smith and DE Calais Campbell for the defense; QB Blake Bortles, C Brandon Linder and RB Leonard Fournette on offense; and DE Lerentee McCray for special teams. Linder and Smith held captain roles last year while Bortles was a team captain in both 2015 and 2016. “I try to put a lot of responsibility on those guys, to be a voice for the team,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. Smith and Campbell were All-Pro selections in 2018. Bortles is in his fifth season as the team’s starting quarterback, Linder has started all 45 games he’s played with the Jaguars the last four seasons while Fournette starts his second year in Jacksonville. McCray is also in his second year with the Jaguars.
TEAM MVP

–DE Yannick Ngakoue. The third-year defensive end played in the shadow of veteran Calais Campbell a year ago after Campbell posted a career-best 14.5 sacks. But Ngakoue was close to Campbell’s total as he was credited with 12.0 sacks including four games in which he had multiple sacks. Ngakoue spent a good deal of the offseason in watching film of other top pass-rushing specialists and claims he has some new moves that will help him become even more effective this year. He has great explosion off the ball and uses his speed and athleticism to get to quarterback.
TEAM ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

–WR DJ Chark. The second-round draft pick out of LSU has the size (6-4), speed and athleticism to become an elite NFL receiver. With Marqise Lee out for the season, it’s likely to result in added throws to Chark. He had a strong offseason program with the Jaguars and even though his training camp wasn’t particularly strong, he’s shown enough potential that he could produce a 50-60 catch rookie season. He’s also benefitted by going against two of the league’s top cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye each day in practice that will help quicken his development.