Sam's Commentary

January 05, 2018 Commentary Archive

Khan, "I'm very, very bullish on Jacksonville."

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted January 05, 2018 ===========================================================================

In his five years as an owner in the NFL, Shad Khan has been surprised more than once. On and off the field he's seen things he didn't expect. But the business as a whole is different than the one he saw from the outside.

"It's much bigger than I expected," Khan said on Thursday afternoon at the stadium. "I looked at it as a sports, as a fan. It's a business. It reflects the psyche of the community much more than I thought it would. And it's hard."

Despite early efforts to change the Jaguars fortunes on the field, the franchise floundered, finishing near the bottom of the division each year.

"Winning on the field is hard, especially if you don't have a fundamental core to build on," he explained.

So building a core, a culture that would change the results on the field started with hiring Tom Coughlin to run the football operation.

"You've got to remember, the structure we have has been tried before, unsuccessfully I might add. I didn't know Tom Coughlin well, but I felt very strongly about it from day one. We have a guy who basically bleeds Jaguars. Having this structure and it's unique and it's going to work for us. What I felt like we were missing was football IQ. By having people with more experience and with them to work together. And very simply winning."

And after five years of losing, the Jaguars made a giant leap forward, winning 10 games and taking the AFC South title for the first time in their history. No surprise, it's energized the fans, a whole new generation experiencing what it's like to have a winning football team in their hometown. "I think we have a fan base I have a lot in common with," Khan added with a laugh. "As an owner I haven't seen the winning we deserve. The key thing was to have a great game day experience. Then when we started winning, people are coming back. I would hear that a lot. The ultimate thing is winning."

As a passionate fan, Khan admits the business was different for him from the inside. His passion as a fan hasn't abated, but he makes sure to separate the owner from the fan when he can.

"You have to know where the lines are. You can't be impetuous obviously."

"You can't fire everybody after a loss," I said with a laugh.

"Yeah," Khan replied. "I've had failures in business but it was nothing like Thursday night was in Tennessee for us last year. That might be the most humiliating moment of my life. You just can't do what emotionally you might want to do because you know it's not the right thing. You know, like the medial professionals in Jacksonville, "Do no harm."

Using the Jaguars and the NFL as an entertainment venue for his businesses in North America has been very successful. Khan creates a weekend for his guests that culminate with the Jaguars game on Sunday. Has it met his expectations?

"I think it's much more so. There are not that many NFL club owners who have a day job so to speak. For me, we have 30,000 employees around the world making auto parts. They get exposed to a different element, most are sports fans. To be able to experience this in a different way that money can't buy is special."

His first experiences in Jacksonville convinced Khan that North Florida wasn't reaching it's potential. With the natural resources, the river, the people and the weather (most of the time!) Shad saw real potential that wasn't being realized. That's changed in the last six year, somewhat thanks to him.

"I've seen a difference. We realize everything we've got going for us. People's expectations are higher. We've been engaged in a lot of different efforts, not just development here, but the trip to London, we had the trip to Toronto with the chamber of commerce. Really just talking to people on the streets. The expectations are higher and we're going to have more success."

"I'm very, very bullish on Jacksonville," he added.

And as far as the long term impact he might have on Jacksonville and the people who will live here, 20, 50, 100 years from now?

"You want to leave things a little bit better than you found them. That's human nature. If you're a parent that's what you want to do with a child. If you have a product, I mean I'd like it to be a shade better than it was. If so, everybody's better off."


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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01-03-2018 - Boselli, Dawkins Finalists For 2018 Hall Of Fame
01-01-2018 - Marrone's Routine Stays The Same
01-01-2018 - Jaguars Home, Have Already Moved On
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Look Ahead To Playoffs
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Limp Into Playoffs
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Win AFC South, Lose Game, Poise In SF
12-17-2017 - Jaguars Dominate Texans 45-7, Qualify For Post-season
12-10-2017 - Jaguars Make Big Statement Beating Seattle, 30-24
12-03-2017 - Jaguars Sweep Colts, Eye Post-season
11-28-2017 - Mullen Is The New Gators Head Coach
11-26-2017 - Jaguars Falter, Lose To AZ, 27-21
11-24-2017 - Boselli's Chances For The Hall? Pretty Good
11-22-2017 - Boselli, Dawkins, Butler Among Hall Of Fame Semifinalists
11-20-2017 - Jaguars Do Just Enough, Beat Browns 19-7
11-12-2017 - Unlike Previous Years, Jaguars Find A Way To Win 20-17 In OT
11-05-2017 - Back To Back And At Home, The Jaguars Look Legit
10-30-2017 - McElwain Departure "It's Never Pretty"
10-26-2017 - Telvin Smith New Deal: Worth Every Penny
10-18-2017 - NFL, Khan, Players and Protest
10-16-2017 - Inconsistent Again, Jaguars Lose To Rams
10-08-2017 - Jaguars Real Selves? Dominate Steelers 30-9
10-01-2017 - Jaguars Models Of Inconsistency, Fall To Jets In OT
09-24-2017 - Jaguars Kneel, Lock Arms With Khan In Show Of "Solidarity"
09-24-2017 - Jaguars Rout Ravens in London
09-24-2017 - Jaguars To Use "Home" Field Advantage vs. Ravens
09-22-2017 - Jaguars Say London Trip Is Pretty Routine
09-17-2017 - Jaguars 2017 Look Like Jaguars 2016 vs. Titans
09-13-2017 - Fournette Works In Relief Effort
09-13-2017 - Jaguars, Khan Help In Relief Effort
09-12-2017 - Jaguars Workout In Houston, Thinking Of Home
09-11-2017 - Jaguars Notes From Houston
09-10-2017 - Jaguars Don't Just Win, They Dominate Texans
09-01-2017 - Jaguars Decisions: Not Just "The 53"
08-23-2017 - Quarterback Decision Can Wait
08-18-2017 - Jaguars Step Backwards vs. Bucs
08-17-2017 - Jaguars Need A Big Step Forward vs. Bucs
08-10-2017 - Jaguars Better 1st Impression vs. Patriots
08-09-2017 - Bortles Better But Not Close To Brady
08-08-2017 - The PLAYERS In March Is The Right Fit
08-08-2017 - Jaguars/Patriots Practice: What It's Supposed To Look Like
08-07-2017 - Gipson Now Knows Tom Brady Is The Goat
08-05-2017 - Marrone's Jaguars Camp: Old Is New Again
07-28-2017 - Jaguars 2017: All About Blake
07-13-2017 - Kingfish Tournament Still Fishing
07-12-2017 - TPC Performance Center Will Make You Better
07-07-2017 - Players Is Big And Getting Bigger
06-29-2017 - Gators Baseball Win National Title
06-28-2017 - Gators Baseball National Champs
06-17-2017 - Bortles Knows This Is It
06-17-2017 - Marrone, Albert Lynchpins To Jaguars Success
06-10-2017 - Marrone Unimpressed In OTA's
05-24-2017 - Bortles On Being Bad, Better
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04-29-2017 - Jaguars Take "Bama OL In 2nd Round
04-28-2017 - Jaguars Take Fournette: "Physical"
04-27-2017 - Past Is Prologue For The Jaguars Draft
04-22-2017 - Jaguars Draft 2017: Take The Best Player
04-21-2017 - Nothing Good In The Jags 2017 Schedule
03-31-2017 - Mt. Acosta Classic Is Something Special
03-29-2017 - Marrone Looking For Competition, Consistency
03-28-2017 - Khan "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
03-28-2017 - Coughlin "We Need A Culture Change"
03-26-2017 - NFL Owners Talk Player Safety, Shorter Games In Phoenix
03-19-2017 - Gators Swamp Virginia, Head To New York
03-19-2017 - FSU Can't Shoot, Loses To Xavier
03-14-2017 - DL3 In The HOF, Still Wants To Play
03-08-2017 - Jaguars Free-agency Preview: Plugging Holes
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02-07-2017 - The Case For Boselli In The Hall, And The Process It Entails
02-01-2017 - Coughlin Says Boselli "Should Be In The Hall Of Fame"
01-19-2017 - Hackett Stays As Jaguars OC
01-12-2017 - Coughlin, "Winning Is What It's All About"
01-11-2017 - Marrone Starts To Change The Staff
01-09-2017 - Marrone, Coughlin, Caldwell Try To "Fix" Jaguars
01-03-2017 - Boselli Makes Hall Of Fame Final 15
01-02-2017 - Jaguars To Compete For A Head Coach

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