Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coughlin Defends Decisions; Says Kicking Woes Common

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coughlin Defends Decisions; Says Kicking Woes Common

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

Though the Jaguars are likely to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive year, coach Tom Coughlin gave himself and his staff a positive evaluation yesterday.

"I think we've done a good job, I really do," he said. "There are a lot of things you'd like to change, but basically it's been scores. Certainly, it's not something that's perfect.

"I can tell you this. Our effort and our preparation and our enthusiasm, our desire, what we've done with our team, how we've tried to rally and stay focused has been a good job."

Coughlin downplayed his decision to change kickers for the fourth time in eight games. The Jaguars waived Richie Cunningham on Tuesday and signed Danny Boyd, who will kick in a regular-season NFL game for the first time on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

"Obviously, it's newsworthy for you [but] it's going on all over the league," Coughlin said. "People are changing kickers everywhere. San Diego is sitting there 8-4 and just changed kickers. It happens. Unfortunately, there aren't enough quality people at that position, so the quest goes on."

The Chargers brought in James Tuthill to handle kickoffs in place of Wade Richey, but field goal kicker Steve Christie retained his job.

The Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who signed rookie Jeff Reed after the Jaguars chose not to, are the only AFC teams to change field goal kickers this year.

Coughlin said that when he picked Tim Seder over Reed, who kicked six field goals Sunday to beat the Jaguars, he didn't want to replace a rookie (Hayden Epstein) with another rookie.

Coughlin said he doesn't consider Boyd to be a rookie because he has kicked in arenafootball2 and NFL Europe and was in the New York Jets camp and on the New York Giants practice squad earlier this year. …

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