When Shad Khan bought the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the first things he said at his initial press conference was he wanted to bring a winning team to a city that had suffered long enough.
Six years after the auto parts tycoon bought the team from Wayne Weaver he is still waiting for a winning formula.
According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, “The billionaire businessman spoke Wednesday at Jacksonville’s state of the franchise address, expressing frustration about the team’s lack of success in his five seasons. The Jaguars are a league-worst 17-63 during his tenure. They have scored the fewest points (1,445) in the NFL in those five years and allowed the most (2,153), a staggering stretch of futility on both sides of the ball.”
That frustration led to Khan’s decision to fire head coach Gus Bradley. Khan hired Doug Marrone, the team’s offensive coordinator, to assume Bradley’s role, but to change the fortunes of this franchise. He also brought in former Jaguars’ head coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is executive vice president of the franchise and to will have final say on all football-related decisions. Along with general manager David Caldwell, Khan hopes this formula will lead to progression. Regression is something this community knows all too well.
Shad Khan told those in attendance he will continue to add resources to this franchise until there is a “breakthrough.”
Since Khan’s purchase of the team, he has become one of the more recognizable owners in the league. He continues to enhance the fan’s experience at home games. He has an agreement with the NFL to play one home game a year in London. This helps the league spread exposure of American football across the pond. Which, In turn, helps generate revenue for the organization here in Jacksonville.
No matter how you spin it, however, this is still a losing franchise. There are still questions at quarterback with Blake Bortles and the offensive line. The defense still needs more pass rushers and the secondary still needs heavy hitters. By now the “work in progress” tag should have been removed, which is quite frustrating for everyone involved.
“I do want to be clear that I remain extremely unsatisfied with our performance of last year, and our disappointment predates the 2016 season,” Khan said. “That’s why you see Tom Coughlin here and Doug Marrone is our head coach.”
Shad Khan has helped to try to revitalize the community. As Long wrote, “Khan has poured money into the franchise, including $75 million to help the city upgrade amenities in and around the stadium. He’s spent more in free agency than anyone in the league the last three years, handing out $488.4 million in contracts that included $183.6 million guaranteed.”
Now, with his commitment to the city of Jacksonville, can he get the same kind of dedication from his team and his coaching staff? By making a run at top free agents at need positions (tight end, safety, guard, rush end), the Jaguars seem committed once again this year to rising above mediocrity in the NFL.