Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Khan takes different approach at meetings
By Michael DiRocco
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking a bit of a different approach at this week’s NFL owners meetings.
In addition to president Mark Lamping, general manager David Caldwell, and head coach Gus Bradley, owner Shad Khan has brought six members of his senior management team to participate in the various committees and other meetings taking place at The Ritz Carlton. That specialization allows the Jaguars to get a bigger benefit out of the meetings, Khan said.
"I think we’re probably the only team that’s rotating different people through different sessions here," he said. "I thought that was really important to get a number of people from our organization exposed to what the league’s thinking. Rather than to use Mark or myself or typical couple of people sit through [meetings] and have to go and communicate the information again [to the rest of the Jaguars management] this is to get direct one-on-one and really participate in that."
The six additional staffers are Dan Edwards (senior vice president, communications), Scott Massey (senior vice president, corporate sponsorships), Hussain Naqi (senior vice president, fan engagement), Chad Johnson (senior vice president, ticket sales), Megha Parekh (vice president and general counsel), and Kelly Flanagan (vice president, finance and planning).
In addition, Tony Khan -- the team’s senior vice president of football technology and analytics and Shad Khan’s son -- also has been at the meetings.
Here are some additional nuggets from Shad Khan's 15-minute meeting with the media on Tuesday:
• Khan said he still hopes the team can re-sign running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has met with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has reportedly drawn interest from New England, Miami and the New York Jets.
"I think he’s a great player," Khan said. "I think he’s a part of Jacksonville history. He’s one of our iconic Jaguars players, but the stage where he is, where we are, I think it’s a question really Dave and Gus ought to be answering, but there’s got to be an area where it makes sense for both."
• The Jaguars aren’t the only struggling professional franchise Khan owns. Fulham Football Club is 7-21-3 and in last place in the English Premier League with seven games remaining. The bottom three teams in the league are swapped with the top three teams in a lower division.
Khan said building a consistent winner in the English Premier League is harder than building a consistent winner in the NFL.
"Premier League is like a loose collection of clubs and you don’t know who are the three clubs that are coming in next year and which are the ones that are dropping off," he said. "NFL is a league that’s built for the long haul. How you think through things is very, very different. Premier League, it’s like fixing a plane while it’s flying. With [the] NFL you can land the plane and fix it."
• Khan said the Jaguars' first game in London and the overseas marketing the team has done has helped the franchise’s popularity immensely, and he’s hoping it’ll do the same for the city.
"So in a little over a year we’ve had that much visibility and improvement and I think it’s very, very important for the Jaguars," Khan said. "I think it’s very important for Jacksonville to get the international awareness and really get the story out what a great area it is, the opportunity, the young people, the cost of living, what a competitive environment it would be for businesses to locate there."