Coughlin upbeat after interviewing for Bengals' jobPosted: Friday January 03, 2003 11:52 PM
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Tom Coughlin was upbeat Friday as he headed back to Florida after interviewing for the Cincinnati Bengals' head coaching job.
Coughlin, fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, is one of at least five candidates for the job. He flew to Cincinnati on Friday and met for several hours with owner Mike Brown and other members of his family.
"It was a preliminary discussion," Coughlin told WXIX-TV at the airport as he headed home. "This is a job that's very attractive to me, without a doubt. I think the team is talented and is a team that can win."
Also on the Bengals' list of candidates are Washington defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and two current assistants -- defensive coordinator Mark Duffner and running backs coach Jim Anderson.
The Bengals fired Dick LeBeau a day after they completed a 2-14 season, the worst in franchise history. Shortly after the firing, Brown said he won't bring in a general manager or change how the front office is run.
Since Brown took over in 1991, the Bengals haven't had a winning season. He won't comment on the team's coaching search.
Coughlin was fired by the Jaguars after going 72-64 in eight seasons. His style could be attractive to the Bengals, who are looking for a hard-edged coach to succeed the easygoing LeBeau.
The Bengals have the smallest scouting staff in the league, but Coughlin might like that, given his preference for having control over personnel moves. Brown has final say on the Bengals' roster, although he usually defers to his coaches.
Before leaving Jacksonville for the interview, Coughlin said he was still getting over Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver's decision to fire him. The Jaguars, who finished 6-10, lost five of those games by a total of 10 points.
"You put yourselves in position to win those games and who knows?" Coughlin told WTEV-TV. "But it didn't happen. That's reality, and you move forward."
This was Coughlin's first interview since being fired Monday. Those close to the coach say he has been very disappointed at not getting a chance to help the Jaguars, the team he built from scratch, take the next step in their rebuilding process.
Still, the man loves coaching and apparently doesn't want to sit out long.
"I think it's difficult, but nevertheless, you move on," he said. "That's the nature of the business."