As the recent Jaguars’ season careened out of control, those inside the organization believed owner Shad Khan didn’t want to make an mid-year change because he didn’t want to have to consider the interim coach for the full-time post.
But in the wake of Khan’s Week 15 firing of Gus Bradley and Monday’s promotion of interim coach Doug Marrone, a basic question was asked to Khan on Thursday: If he believed in Marrone so much, why didn’t he fire Bradley earlier, chiefly after the 36-22 loss at Tennessee in Week 8?
“Frankly, I have no regrets in life and we wanted to give Gus every opportunity,” Khan said. “Absolutely no regrets.”
Slideshow: Jaguars introduce Tom Coughlin, Doug Marrone
Bradley was fired with the Jaguars mired in a nine-game losing streak and a 2-12 record.
“I don’t believe just basically changing midcourse, halfway into the season,” Khan said. “It would have destabilized the program even more. I didn’t want to do that.”
Khan: Firing handled ‘good’
Another area where Khan said he has no regrets: How he fired Bradley after the Jaguars’ loss at Houston on Dec. 18.
Khan wasn’t present for the game, leaving the dirty work to his son, Tony Khan, and general manager Dave Caldwell.
Bradley was fired at the Texans’ stadium and then flew back to Jacksonville with the team for an awkward two-hour flight. Players were critical of Khan for how he performed the firing – not in-person and not waiting until Bradley returned to town.
Khan grew passionate – maybe even a little testy – when relayed of the players’ criticisms.
“You know something? Talk to Gus, OK?” Khan said. “He was absolutely couldn’t be more gracious. This is not about the players. This is about Gus. Talk to him. As a matter of fact, the last time I talked to him, he said he was the biggest ambassador any coach who has any issue.
“I’m proud of how we handled Gus [and] what happened. You know, it was good.”
Asked if he was too patient with Bradley, Khan said: “It was the right amount of time. We just didn’t win.”
*EverBank Field has changed a lot since executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin last coached the Jaguars in 2002. “I just walked into the stadium and was reminded how beautiful the stadium is and how fast a track we’re blessed with here and to be able to take advantage of the team speed and the weather and all those kinds of things,” he said. “That put me back in the mode of thinking [about] when we first came here.”
*New for Coughlin during his second stint with the Jaguars will be an indoor practice facility. “It’s coming up fast, isn’t it?” he said. “We won’t have to go over to the concrete [concourse] when it rains for a week.”
*Maybe the Jaguars’ luck against the Chargers will change now that the franchise is relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Jaguars have lost to the Chargers four straight years and will host them in 2017 along with the other Los Angeles team (Rams).