Sam's Commentary

November 09, 2014 Commentary Archive

Shad Khan: Making Jacksonville and the Jaguars a Winner

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted November 09, 2014 ===========================================================================

When you spend anytime with Shad Khan, it's easy to see why he's been so successful in just about everything he's done. He's passionate about the things he's involved in. His eyes light up when you talk about car parts. He has a vision for his football team and a vision for what role he can play in helping the city of Jacksonville. The trip to London is a big part of that economic stimulus Khan is looking for. When I spoke to him on Saturday morning in the library of 45 Park Lane, one of his favorite places in London, Khan was relaxed but focused on making this year's trip a success for Jacksonville and the Jaguars.

"Last year we laid some of the ground work, and I think this year we're harvesting some of those things," he said referring to sponsorships that are being developed for the team and the economic 'trade mission' this trip has turned into for the City of Jacksonville. Meetings with a variety of potential international partners from Liverpool to South Africa all could be lucrative contacts for the future.

Khan is interesting in development in Jacksonville for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the positive impact it can have on his franchise. "We want to help. Pretty much from day one I felt and have shown it with action, the community has to grow so the team can grow, sort of a rising tide raising all boats kind of a concept," he commented when I asked about his commitment to economic growth in the city.

"I've played a very active role in what do we have to do to attract jobs here. The Shipyards is just one of those projects to try and do that." Khan is getting ready to make a proposal to develop the Shipyards with a Jaguars theme, rumored to include a practice field, some retail and possibly even an aquarium.

Recently, Khan was quoted as saying "A homeless guy in Detroit has more mojo than the millionaires in Jacksonville." He knows he'll have some opposition to his development ideas but sees incredible potential in the city. When I asked him about civic leadership doing it's job in bringing business to town, he just laughed. But added, "There's a lot there, but somehow it just doesn't translate. I think we can play a role in helping with that."

And while the city as a whole is in Khan's vision, his focus is on revitalizing downtown.

"If you look at any urban planning, you cannot have a vibrant city without a vibrant downtown. That is absolutely something we're lacking. We want to rejuvenate the downtown area. It's right next to the stadium and there's a lot of synergy. It's going to help us."

This year's opponent seems to have given this game, and Khan's and the Jaguars' role in it a bigger stage. He even brought up Dallas' image on a national scale. "We're playing Dallas, they're America's Team," Shad said. "We want to be the face of the league NFL International."

Part of Khan' excitement regarding this year's game is the fact that Dallas is the opponent. Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has been one of his mentors in the NFL ownership circle. "Jerry Jones couldn't be kinder to me. Took me though the idiots guide to owning an NFL team. He's an Iconic guy, I love him."

Jones mentioned this week in a press conference that he expected Khan to have a bigger commitment to London. Khan said he'll assess that shortly. "For us, we want to do the right thing for the franchise and the right thing for the city. We don't have the growth in the Jacksonville, We know that. How do we stabilize the team. This is the second year of our 4 year commitment, so next year maybe we'll say that's the time to say 'Hey, what do we do.'"

If you watch Khan operate, you see that he has a plan with whatever he's doing. That certainly applies to his NFL team where the "rebirth and rebuilding" is in it's second year. "We've gone through a process, we've got the youngest team in the league. What's encouraging to me is that the last three or four games have come down to the last few plays. The players have to mature; we can't lose all those games. It's up to Gus and myself to get our expectations out clearly." Which means the players, and coaches, will know exactly what Shad thinks when it comes to wins and losses starting next year.

Recently, Khan was named the most "popular NFL owner" by one publication. Certainly interesting for a guy who's only been in the public eye for two years. He clearly has embraced that part of ownership but admitted the celebrity aspect of being an NFL owner kind of surprised him.

"I had no experience. The business I had is not a public business. Part of sports is you have to have a public profile. (You) were not interviewing me when we were doing auto parts. Some of the craziest things. Look at the boat on the Thames, who would have thought, I mean this is London, but it's become a major curiosity. "

Khan did bring his new boat "Kismet" to London and anchored just east of Tower Bridge. It has caused a stir with tourists constantly stopping to take pictures and make comments.

Khan has a plan for the boat and executed it. It's Jaguars themed throughout, including a silver Jaguar on the bow with a teal light in its eye. He has the same kind of plan for the city and his football team. The boat was a six-year project. He's hoping the plan for the team and the city takes less than that.

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

11-08-2014 - Jaguars Prep Cowboys on Saturday
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Arrive in London
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Make London Routine
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Focusing on Cowboys
11-05-2014 - Jaguars Road Trip: Play Anywhere, Anytime
11-02-2014 - Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again
10-29-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Florida Connections
10-19-2014 - Jaguars 1st Win: Beat Browns
10-19-2014 - Jaguars Browns Preview: Winnable?
10-13-2014 - Jaguars Let One Slip Away
10-12-2014 - Jaguars vs. Titans Preview
10-11-2014 - Top 20 Jaguars Personalities
10-06-2014 - Steelers Beat Jaguars But More Respectable
10-03-2014 - Simple Jaguars Solution: Play Better
10-02-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Rivalry Moments
09-29-2014 - Jaguars Lose To Chargers: Still Learning
09-27-2014 - Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
09-25-2014 - Bortles First Week as Starter
09-24-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Impactful Rookies
09-20-2014 - Jaguars/Colts Preview: Race to Maturity Needs to be Fast
09-14-2014 - Jaguars Lose Game, Ground
09-09-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 'Moments
09-08-2014 - Jaguars Fall to Eagles, Learn Lessons
09-06-2014 - Jaguars/Eagles: It's What's Up Front That Counts
09-06-2014 - Hotel Domestique: (Almost) Cycling Paradise
08-16-2014 - Henne Takes Control, Jags Move Forward
08-15-2014 - Keep Improving and Jaguars Have A Chance
07-12-2014 - Chasing Greatness: The Right Way
07-01-2014 - Team USA Brings Us Together: Again
06-08-2014 - A Special Day in Town
06-06-2014 - Jaguars Week 2 OTA's: More Progress
05-28-2014 - Jaguars 1st OTA: Plenty of Questions
05-17-2014 - Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future
05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
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12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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