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Jaguars owner Shad Khan says he learned lesson about right way to build team

Posted: March 25, 2014 - 9:21pm  |  Updated: March 25, 2014 - 10:12pm

ORLANDO — Having assumed ownership of the Jaguars, Shad Khan was a spectator two years ago during free agency and bought what then-general manager Gene Smith was selling.

The Jaguars signed receiver Laurent Robinson, quarterback Chad Henne and cornerback Aaron Ross and re-signed defensive linemen Jeremy Mincey and C.J. Mosley to multiyear contracts worth a combined $80.25 million.

“We were two players away from making the playoffs so we spent in free agency, and we know what happened,” Khan recalled Tuesday at the NFL’s annual meeting.

The Jaguars went 2-14.

Smith was axed.

Robinson, Ross and Mosley were cut after the 2012 season.

Mincey was waived late in the 2013 season.

Only Henne remains with the organization.

Reminding reporters of that offseason was Khan’s way of discussing the progress he hopes the Jaguars have made this month while adding seven players for a reasonable rate and keeping the draft as their primary focus.

“Certainly, I’ve learned my lesson,” he said. “If you look at the teams that are successful, they’re going to be built through the draft, and some missing pieces will be filled in with free agency. That is the formula for success.”

The Jaguars have 11 picks in this year’s draft, and general manager Dave Caldwell hopes to add more via trades. At the root of the Jaguars’ problems this decade has been woeful drafting — only 18 players under contract were drafted by the team, including eight from last year. That — and the unsuccessful 2012 free agent spending spree — contributed to six straight non-winning years.

“This rebuilding over and over again is brutal for the fans. It’s brutal if you have anything to do with it,” Khan said.

The win-loss record has been brutal. The Jaguars are 6-26 in Khan’s two years as owner.

But he remains confident the franchise is on the right path with Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley.

“It’s important to have the right chemistry on any team, whether it’s pro football or auto parts,” Khan said. “If you don’t have that, you obviously have a much harder road ahead. That’s Step One. I definitely think we have a great group of people who really enjoy each other. There isn’t one person who has an answer to every question or problem.”

Said Bradley: “We have great conversations, and we challenge each other. There are teams that may be dysfunctional, and it’s tough to win that way. Shad is a guy that likes a lot of information, and that’s an environment Dave and I are comfortable in and to do that. Your ego can’t be too large. That’s the type of culture we have — limited egos that allows for everybody to express their opinion, and once it’s all said and done, one guy [Caldwell] makes the decision.”

The next biggest decision for the Jaguars will come on May 8 with the third overall pick.

Khan is on the same page as Caldwell and Bradley when it comes to when drafting a quarterback.

The Jaguars need one.

“A quarterback is by far the No. 1 [element],” Khan said.

And the Jaguars aren’t going to reach for a passer.

Caldwell said it’s rare for a quarterback who isn’t a fifth-year senior to be ready to start right away.

Bradley said the re-signing of Henne will allow the Jaguars to not only let a newly-drafted passer learn while watching but also lessen the immediate expectations. “Why add to that when it could create anxiety and take them away from competing to the best of their abilities?” he said.

And Khan said San Francisco (second-round pick Colin Kaepernick) and Seattle (third-round pick Russell Wilson) have teams that hit on passers while being patient.

“There is story after story,” Khan said. “They have a great team and say, ‘OK, maybe there is a missing piece.’ And that’s why they worked on.”

Off the field, the Jaguars continue to work on the stadium project that is scheduled to be completed in July and also enhance their brand through a second trip to London (Nov. 9 against Dallas). The seating options for the new sections were rolled out by the Jaguars earlier this month.

“Right now, we’re tracking basically the way we were last year,” Khan said. “I’m very aware our results on the field haven’t been good so there are people who are cautious.”

Abroad, Khan said an NFL survey has the Jaguars ranked No. 9 in international recognition, up from No. 31 last year.

“We’ve had visibility,” Khan said. “It’s very, very important for the Jaguars, and it’s very important for Jacksonville to get that international awareness and get the story of what a great area it is and the opportunities, the young people, the cost of living and what a competitive environment it would be businesses to locate there.”

Comments (13)

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Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/25/14 - 10:54 pm
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Of course the chemistry was

Of course the chemistry was bad. Now you have extracted the core of the team and many of the better players. You have let the team leader and the best contributor on offense leave, too. Now you say 8 from the draft last year are in the 18 players we drafted that are on roster and the 2012 FA spending is what made us have 6 sorry seasons? We are only 2 years removed from the 2012 FA moves and we just took a FB off waivers that has issues keeping him from playing, health issues. Robinson got hurt by a bad pass, I remember that well. Mincey had meaningful time with his team, as did Kampmon. Monroe is still the better of the OL, but he's been gone and your rookie Luke hasn't played because of injury.

I am sorry, I just can't see anything to brag about when comparing what DC has done last year or this year. it was a no brainer to get control of the team. The issue that remains is the treatment of players, which BTW, is what got you where you were. As far as anxiety, I had rather call it intensity. last year BG won the starting job over Henne, remember? He won it under GS and MM, too. Question: How will signing Henne make us better at the QB position given he couldn't beat BG?
Furthermore, How will a rookie QB give Henne competition in order to try harder? If henne starts 1-4 are you going to start your rookie, and if so isn't that what did BG in?

Again, we need a winning veteran QB on roster to push Henne. He'd more than likely beat Henne, which is OK too. This isn't about proving that a hire (GM) was good, or that a GM is doing positive things, it is about getting some players on roster that have the talent of at least the average NFL player at his position. Did you hire a plant manager with no experience to hire and fire your people at Flex gate?

The QB needs to be a leader, I just do not see Henne in that role. He is trying, but his throws deep are off 3/4 of the time. I still see an anemic offense void of playmakers and void of plays that gain 10 yards, period. To me, our offense is the SOS! Our defense is back to 2011 status, which was middle of the road. Two drafts should be enough to turn the corner, but it won't be. Why? Lack of a QB with skills to score. lack of an adequate OL. Lack of a feature RB. If we don't muster 8 wins most owners would cut DC loose... but we'll just fire the OC, right?

The Patient
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The Patient 03/25/14 - 10:59 pm
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Khan has been learning on the

Khan has been learning on the job. He hired guys that are learning on the job. I have never liked the hiring of Caldwell for that specific reason - Mr. Khan NEEDED an experienced football mind to help him with his team. Caldwell is making too many mistakes and it will be sheer luck for him to have this team a winner by year 3. Some don't like to hear it but it has been proven year after year in the NFL. Does anyone really think Caldwell will get until year 4 or 5 to have a winning season? Year one was wasted on Gabbert and "you only build through the draft". But oh wait in year 2 we are going to use FA to help supplement the roster. (Which is finally a good move) Some of us pointed out the overpaying for Laurent Robinson from day one. The reality of the NFL is that some of your own FA, like Mincey, don't work out - but you just can't stick your head in the sand and be stubborn about your own FA. Greg Jones, Derek Cox, Daryl Smith, Terrance Knighton all were let go for nothing and were not even on Caldwell's radar. He then wasted the 2nd overall pick in the draft on a LT when the team already had Eugene Monroe. Caldwell just didn't want to deal with a contract for Monroe nor use options to keep or restrict Monroe. Franchise tags and a restricted tag would have been the tools to use. Alas rookie GM needs to learn his lesson at the teams expense. For those that doubt the Monroe scenario please see 2 time Super Bowl winning GM Ozzie Newsome signing Monroe to a 4 year deal - I would think he would garner your respect as a football fan. Caldwell's first draft was very poor and anyone that thinks otherwise is kidding themselves into the "belief" that he is doing it the right way. His job is to ADD talent to a depleted roster - what did he add last year? Virtually nothing. Ace is a positive and Cyp is ok.

Mr. Khan is learning a valuable lesson again this year - he just doesn't know it yet. MJD still has something in the tank - probably not as much as MJD thinks he does but certainly more than 2nd year GM Caldwell is completely discounting.

This years FA has been a positive direction. Caldwell and Mr. Khan are learning. They might figure out a winning formula. It will take patience. But it is clear to some of us that this is a learning process and they don't have all the answers that some of the sheep want to preach. The end game is a direction we all can agree on but the path to get there is something we all have differing opinions.

Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/25/14 - 11:20 pm
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@Parabola Nice comment,

@Parabola Nice comment, accurate and very specific.

Herein is the main problem: Human Resource Developement
Without competition (at a higher level than we have had for 10 years)at the QB position we will never get the most of our team on offense. Now, why get a #1 WR like JB w/o a QB that can deliver? Or a FA WR ? They will be useless and prone to injury from the situation you are forcing: the game plan. You fashion an offense to score using your players strengths. Complicating our situation is an unproven OL ( you took our tackle away ) and an unproven feature RB that has never made 1st team or proven to be durable. Our WR's lack a #1 because JB isn't available and may never be. Our TE may or may not be able to perform at the average level because of our OL issues. Where is that center? You know, the player that anchors an OL, Brewster? Gimme a break!

There is no effort, and has not been, to field an average OL, QB, RB, or WR group. Therefore, without the ability to score we will again be picking in the top 3 of the draft. Just sayin'. SOS....10 long years.

Oh, but we have the biggest....

Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/25/14 - 11:32 pm
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How long are we training DC

How long are we training DC to be an NFL GM? 3 years? 5 years?

TheMadKow
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TheMadKow 03/26/14 - 07:03 am
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I am very impressed with the

I am very impressed with the new regimes rebuild. JB a #1? He is a possession receiver. Your lack of any football knowledge is a complete Joke Licked. You and Jungle Cat are the biggest laughing stocks on this site.

Forty six your insight is spot on in most instances, but I think you are a little too critical of DC's first year. We gained at least 5 starters from last years draft. This year will really tell us how well our 2013 draft class grades out.

Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/26/14 - 07:13 am
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It is funny how this

It is funny how this franchise needs 2 to 3 years to grade a draft while most other franchises get two impact players every year. just look at the rookies on the rosters of the teams making the playoffs last year. Just look at how top teams regularly send the Jaguars players like Toby, which played second fiddle until they see more potential from a late round rookie!
If JB isn't the #1 WR, why was he targeted (when eligible) more than any other WR 2 to 1? Hmmm, maybe your right.... then again no, you aren't. You attack the messenger all the time, which proves nothing but your weakness in your dreaming. I will tell the facts/stats and tendencies, you tell me absolutely nothing in your reasoning as to why I am wrong. Why? I can answer that, but I have better manners than that. Dream on Kow. Dream away another 4 years hoping this SOS of a regime can get it right. Until it is showing up in the win column, it is failing. last year was a wasted year, period. I said nada all year, so as to let you and your crew bask in your delusion. This will be DC's last draft, unless he can show us 8 wins, success at the most important position: QB, a more productive running game than we had in MJD, and line play that meets the NFL average. if any of these three lack we will have a losing season. Any other NFL franchise the 2 year mark is crucial, it would be do it or see ya. Here it is always, maybe next year.

TheMadKow
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TheMadKow 03/26/14 - 07:38 am
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Every draft class gets a

Every draft class gets a final grade after three years. We got 2 impact players last year in Joeckel and Cyprien. Their impact will be felt this year.
Caldwell will be here for a long time to come despite your prediction. Your so called predictions are hilarious to say the least. Wasn't MJD suppose to be signed the first day?
You and Jungle are simply internet trolls, nothing more.

The Patient
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The Patient 03/26/14 - 12:50 pm
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@Licked - 2 players are on my

@Licked - 2 players are on my wish list above all else - Watkins or Mathews. Mach and Bortles are distant 3rd and 4th. I am actually looking forward to this season and draft day to see how things pan out. IF and that's a big IF - Caldwell has a really great draft and gets some solid players of need then I do think the team will eventually get in the right direction. Caldwell probably will not be the guy to finish the job but at least he is not completely messing up this team like the previous GM with 1) stupid trades like Cox, Gabbert, 2) the overdrawing of Alualu, Anger 3) and most importantly a complete scattershot plan for success. Gene had no plan. Caldwell is showing he does have a plan and learned MUCH faster than the previous GM. He has made rookie mistakes but this FA period has been solid base hits that have added talent to the roster. Trading Gabbert for a 6th is a stroke of genius when you consider Oakland traded a 6th for Schaub and they intend to start Schaub. Schaub is a legitimate starting caliber QB. He had a bad year last year and I think the Texans jettisoned a solid starter too quick. Anyway I am ready to let this season play out. I think Caldwell made some big rookie mistakes but he has done enough so far to redeem himself that I want to see what else he can do.

@MadKow - thanks. Let me explain my draft grade so maybe you can see my angle. I explained the 1st round pick above. I think the team would have been better off with drafting Dion Jordan or another DL player. Caldwell essentially switched a proven LT for a younger unproven LT - so he didn't ADD a starter here. Cyp is overrated by many to me and I think a safety should be doing more for the top 2nd round. Also Geno was available at that position. Geno had a solid rookie year and is going to be in a QB competition for the starting job to press him - he will either improve or lose his job. That is why I want us to draft a QB in the 2nd round vs. giving another QB the job. Hopefully Geno would have been in the same compete position here. Overall Cyp is an ok safety and I don't see much value for him - needs to be more of a playmaker to me. Gratz - Will Blackmon has played better to me and Gratz is injury prone. Ace is a great 4th round pick up to me - wished they had him returning punts/kick offs sooner. Denard - oh where to start - complete failure of a draft pick and is a major issue to me. Caldwell knew Meester was retiring and this pick is a shining example of "what the heck were you thinking"??!! Should have drafted a center here to learn.

Overall I don't think the first draft added as much as you think. Adding starters? I count two. I would have drafted a DL round 1, Geno round 2, OL round 3, I am good w Ace in the 4th, and center in the 5th, the depth in the 6th and 7th I was good with. This year Sammy at #3 for 2 reasons - Blackmon is almost out of the league and Shorts is not a #1 plus he is injury prone. If Sammy is off the board then Matthews. Build the OL. Good OL helps any QB and the running game. Draft QB in the 2nd or trade up back into the 1st to get the guy you want - depends on who they like the most. Carr, Garrapolo and Mettinburger all look like they have potential - we have to trust their evaluation skills here and they should be held accountable for the success or failure of this pick. I think 3rd round has got to be a center. All the extra picks make this draft awesome in that he can fill needs at a lot of spots. He has used FA wisely and filled some needs. Our DL rotation looks really good and I am excited to see what Gus will do with these guys. Keep them fresh and getting after the QB. One player I would like to see Caldwell keep his eyes on is the SEC defensive player Michael Sam. Don't be scared of his announcement but look at the value of his talent. If he drops down then draft him with one of those extra picks.

Overall I see 2 players added from his 1st draft. He should have used FA to help him last year. But it does look like he learned. We will see.

TheMadKow
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TheMadKow 03/26/14 - 09:51 am
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@ Forty six .... Very

@ Forty six .... Very interesting. I can see where your coming from and I do appreciate your constructive criticism. I do agree this off seasons moves have been a lot better and I too am really looking forward to the draft.

Noillusions
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Noillusions 03/26/14 - 09:57 am
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Silly comments...I believe

Silly comments...I believe just about any average football fan could have selected better than what the jags have for over a decade.

Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/26/14 - 10:35 am
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@ parabola: The latest speak

@ parabola: The latest speak I have read from DC seems we will not be taking a QB in the top 10. If we settle on a player at say, #8, after trading down, it will be a Jake type or Jake (he won't be there) and the WR's are deep in this draft and I believe Watkins would be gone. That leaves us to take BP if at a key need: OL, or trading down to 20-23 and getting Carr. For this to happen we would have to value Carr over A Murray, which would be there for us in the 2nd for sure.

I just do not see us taking a QB at #3 for the simple reason that one will be there, of almost equal chance for success, late 1st and earl 2nd.
Will we want Jake that high, I doubt it because we need so many players and spreading out the draft contracts would be an advantage realized for 4 years. If there were a Luck we'd take him. Bortles is the best but a LARGE gamble for this team considering our lack of a solid OL. IMO a top pick should be at #3 Clowney or trading down to #8 an OL or C, or down to high 20's Carr or WR... and then 2nd take OL or WR if Carr is taken, or A Murray. We will draft 2 QB's this draft, 2 WR's and 2 OL. Then a CB, RB and TE I hope. that's the 9 I think we must get.

Again, we need a leader, Henne isn't it, Toby isn't it, we don't have Monroe or meester, MJD, or anyone that the offense can look to. We simply are building...toward injuring a high pick if WR, or QB if a starter too soon. This year, IMO, you will see us p/u a veteran QB that will take over our offense. If we can't get 8 wins, we will be firing our OC. If the next year we can't get 8 or 9, and be in the hunt late, DC will be just like GS....McGone.

Davethecaveman
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Davethecaveman 03/26/14 - 11:32 am
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The jury is still out on

The jury is still out on whether Shad Kahn has learned anything about building a winning NFL football team.
This is rediculous to even say that until the Jags win something.
Having said that, I am as positive as he is about our chances, just am a little reserved about it. After the last couple of years, who could blame me?

Beacher Retort
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Beacher Retort 03/26/14 - 12:30 pm
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@ DavetheCaveman: Certainly

@ DavetheCaveman: Certainly your post is correct. His operations manager knows how to add perks and handle contractual issues, but Mr. K hasn't had demonstrated success hitting a HR in his GM hire or by having any directive achieved. He is letting the experts do what he hired them to do while he is learning. While positive and hopeful I will still see the moves as they are. So far I would say we have built nothing more than DC inherited as far as the roster. As far as the HC, yes, we have improved from where JDR was at and MM. Also, the fact we are tuned in to player issues and attitudes, chemistry, is an improvement of managements understanding of HR developement. That said, until we see mortar and bricks ( like keeping MJD because of MJD's unique attitude and drive ) in our commitment to keep contributors like Monroe, Smith and MJD, I can't say our franchise has turned the corner. Our FA additions are nothing special and our offense is lead by Henne, which didn't beat out BG under GB or MM. We lack a feature RB IMO. We have plugged some holes, but like you, I am reserved, unlike you, I am unsold.
Nobody can blame you or me or the FA's that want to steer clear of here, or GM's that advise players they care about to do the same.
Learning would mean not having a rookie QB as PLAN B at QB. Otherwise, we are about to do what GS did, when Henne goes down or when we start 1-4.

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