Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan recently sat down for an interview with Forbes to discuss what he learned during his rookie season as an NFL team owner. Khan, a hard working, successful business man was a complete newcomer to the football scene and had a sharp learning curve when the Jags posted a franchise-worst record of 2-14. This came in a season when the top brass, namely general manager Gene Smith and head coach Mike Mularkey, were preaching that the team was very close to the playoffs.
Smith fooled Khan once, but don’t expect him to be fooled again.
“Business I understand. It was pretty obvious to me what we had to do. But the football side was like the Holy Grail. They had the ‘secret recipe’ here and the self-analysis of the team was that we were pretty good, that we were just a little bit away from the playoffs and if we just get some free agents signed up, we’ll be in great shape,” Khan said about spending money and being deceived into believing the delusion in Jacksonville last season. It was all part of the reason the Jags had the fourth highest cash payroll in 2012.
But 2013 will be different. Fool Khan once, shame on you. Fool him twice, shame on him.
But Khan won’t be fooled twice.
This offseason everyone is high on the Jaguars. Whether it’s more attention from national sports writers, the more comfortable feel Khan has when dealing with league and team situations, or simply the ridiculously upbeat outlook and personality of new head coach Gus Bradley, something is emanating from this team that says “we’re moving up.” Last year was the learning curve, this year Khan, new GM Dave Caldwell, and Bradley will begin putting together the formula to get the Holy Grail. There won’t be a Super Bowl this year, but football is no longer a foreign thing for the Jaguars, they’ve got their heads on straight and the delusion of years past is behind them.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims