Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coughlin Has Firm Hand Bengals Need

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coughlin Has Firm Hand Bengals Need

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

The best thing Bengals president Mike Brown could do to restore his franchise's downtrodden image is to hire Tom Coughlin and surrender control of personnel, either to Coughlin or someone else.

While Coughlin had mixed results as the Jaguars' general manager in Jacksonville, the other top candidates interviewing for the Bengals' job -- Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis -- don't have Coughlin's reputation as a program builder.

There are few open coaching jobs in which hiring Coughlin makes for an ideal merger, but the Bengals are an exception. That team desperately needs a disciplined coach with a firm hand and nobody fits that description better than the ex-Jaguars' taskmaster. It remains to be seen whether Coughlin would accept the Bengals' job without Brown, maybe the worst GM in league history, granting him personnel control.

Coughlin's dismissal after eight seasons in Jacksonville doesn't mean he's not a good football coach or a decent talent evaluator. It's just that most NFL coaching stints run their course for different reasons.

The results are indisputable evidence that Coughlin had a good run with the Jaguars. He was like a dependable car who had finally accrued too much mileage. But if the Bengals hire him and Brown learns to keep his distance, Tom Coughlin may be Cincinnati's ticket to respectability. . . .

Some media reports have linked former Saints general manager Randy Mueller as Wayne Weaver's lead candidate to have personnel control with the Jaguars. While Mueller did a solid job with the Saints and was unfairly dumped by owner Tom Benson, a more attractive candidate to be the Jaguars' GM would be Patriots personnel whiz Scott Peoli. …

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