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Tom Coughlin is already getting on Jaguars players’ nerves

Confrontations with the NFL Players Association may be the first concrete sign that disciplinarian Tom Coughlin is back.

The coach renowned for a furious red face, clocks set five minutes early and controlling a football team like he would a military unit now can do that from a higher perch as the Jaguars executive vice president of football operations. And just two months after Jacksonville brought in the former Giants head coach, he’s already butting heads with his own players and their union.

Coughlin sent out a letter to Jaguars players requesting they visit Jacksonville this month for physicals. According to a Pro Football Talk report, the players showed up — but the ones from out of town were irked. Trying to get a head start on physicals may have violated the collective bargaining agreement; Jaguars aren’t required to report to the team’s facility until April 10, according to the Florida Times-Union, but they are allowed to work out there voluntarily.

Having already angered his players and gotten into a gray area of NFL legality, Coughlin then further tested the limits. He tried to kick off the team’s offseason program early, arguing teams with a new coach can begin earlier than teams with holdovers (head coach Doug Marrone took over on an interim basis for the final two games of last season). The NFLPA filed a grievance, according to Pro Football Talk, and Coughlin was forced to back down. The Jaguars released a statement Tuesday clarifying they’ll begin the program April 17 — when everyone else will.

Coughlin is off and racing, trying to get to work and shape his players as soon as possible. He has his own head coach dizzied and the Players Association busy already.

“I’m just trying to keep up,’’ Marrone said Wednesday about his 70-year-old boss. “It’s amazing. People ask me, I go, ‘Gosh, obviously I’m younger, but shoot, I got to keep up with Coach.’ We’re going 100 miles an hour.’’


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