AP sources: Jaguars owner Khan speaks to team, seeks answers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has kept a fairly low profile around the team.
He got more involved than usual after one of the most embarrassing losses in coach Gus Bradley's four-year tenure.
Khan made a rare appearance in front of the team Monday night, a day after a 33-16 loss to Oakland, several people familiar with the situation said. They said Khan's message was ''why are we not winning and what can we do to fix it?'' The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because details of the meeting have not been disclosed.
The owner's open forum allowed players and coaches to ask questions and exchange thoughts about what's gone wrong for a team that was expected to make a significant jump this season, the people said.
The Jaguars (2-4) play at Tennessee (3-4) on Thursday night.
Players and coaches insist what happened against Oakland was a fluke. The Jaguars had a late-game meltdown in the 33-16 loss Sunday. Receiver Marqise Lee was flagged for using a racial slur. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson was ejected after picking up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, including one for using abusive language toward an official. And cornerback Jalen Ramsey was tossed for fighting. Throw in defensive lapses, dropped passes, the team's inability to run the ball and Blake Bortles' continued inaccuracy, indecision and inconsistency, and the Jaguars looked like a team on the verge of spiraling out of control.
Khan noticed, and wanted to help.
It was an unusual move for the billionaire owner who doesn't live in Jacksonville and hasn't been known to meddle.
Nonetheless, it was the second time in less than a month he spoke to the Jags. He addressed players and coaches before their annual game in London earlier this month, pointing out that despite a 0-3 start they had a chance to show the world they trusted and believed in what was going on in Jacksonville. He asked for a ''repeat of Wembley,'' and the Jaguars delivered.
They beat Indianapolis 30-27 for their second straight win across the pond.
The Jags now have a chance Thursday to improve to 2-0 after Khan talks.
Regardless, Khan's increased presence raises questions about whether he's trying to garner information on the current coaching situation. The Jaguars are 14-40 under Bradley, the second worst winning percentage for any coach in NFL history with at least 50 games of experience. Only Bert Bell (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh) fared worse, and he also was the owner.
Khan has spent millions improving the game-day atmosphere in Jacksonville, working with the city to install the world's largest scoreboards, revamp club seating and break ground on an indoor practice facility that will connect to an amphitheater.
He's spent even more to upgrade the roster, including a defensive overhaul the last two seasons that had paid small dividends. Wins remain few and far between, though.
Khan said earlier this year that a winning record is ''everybody's reasonable expectation at this point .''
The Jaguars need to go 7-3 the rest of the way to make that happen, and they play four of the next five on the road.
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