Jags owner Khan calls 2023 collapse an ‘organizational failure’ and says it can’t happen again

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FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the field before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Over the past 100 years, around 110 men and a handful of women have owned controlling portions of NFL teams. Of that select group, all but two have been white. . (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan called last year’s late-season collapse an “organizational failure.”

Speaking after he and Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan signed a proclamation Wednesday that formally sealed a $1.4 billion “stadium of the future” proposal passed by the city a night earlier, Khan opened up about a variety of football-related topics.

He praised the long-term contracts for quarterback Trevor Lawrence and pass rusher Josh Allen. He talked about playing in London and maybe Northern Ireland. He offered some insight into how Amit Patel, a former Jaguars financial manager, was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $22 million from the NFL franchise through its virtual credit card program.

He also weighed in, sort of, on who he’d prefer call plays in 2024: coach Doug Pederson or offensive coordinator Press Taylor.

“Yeah, I have an opinion,” Khan said. “But I don’t want to tell people ‘We need to do it’ because then things don’t work out, they look at me and say, ‘We did it because you wanted it.’”

Khan even pointed to a recent column in the New York Times that included a line about Pederson’s future hanging in the balance in 2024 and said: “If I were in that situation, I’d want my hands on the wheel.”

“Doug, he’s empowered,” Khan said. “I’m going to let him decide.”

Taylor called plays in 2023 after the two shared duties during their first season in Jacksonville. But with Taylor wearing the headset, the Jaguars dropped five of their final six games and missed the postseason after spending three months atop the AFC South.

Lawrence was injured four different times and missed the first game of his professional career following a sprained right shoulder sustained in Week 16 at Tampa Bay. He also missed significant practice time because of a sprained left knee, a sprained right ankle and a concussion.

Jacksonville also played several games without receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones.

“Injuries are a part of the game,” Khan said. “We had some of those injuries, but I think it’s organizational failure that it happened. All of these players I talked to, it’s like how could this happen? What happened?

“For me, it’s really a cause for self-reflection and then something good to come out of it because we just can’t have that this year.”

The Jaguars nonetheless gave Lawrence a five-year, $275 million contract extension months after signing Allen to a five-year deal worth $141 million. They are the first first-round draft picks Jacksonville has signed to second contracts since quarterback Blake Bortles in 2018.

General manager Trent Baalke and Pederson also signed five starters in free agency, including receiver Gabe Davis, defensive tackle Arik Armstead and center Mitch Morse.

“The expectation should be up, too,” said Khan, who hopes to sign a new deal for more annual games in London and wouldn’t rule out a game in Northern Ireland down the road. “For us, winning now is the expectation.”

Khan declined to say much about former Jags kicker Brandon McManus, who is being sued by two women for an alleged sexual assault that took place on the team’s charter to London last September. Khan also said part of Patel’s transgressions took place while many employees were working from home following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Neither one of them are organizational failures,” Khan said.

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