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Khan: "It's a great feeling"


ORLANDO – Shad Khan noticed the difference immediately.

"You don't feel the sense of pity," he said.

Khan, the Jaguars' owner since 2012, said that has been a noticeable difference during this week's 2018 NFL Annual Meeting – that since the Jaguars made the AFC Championship Game two months ago, his fellow owners have treated him a bit differently.

"It's a great feeling – in many different ways,"" Khan said. "Not only in my tenure, but before that, we hadn't had much success. To be able to finally break through is obviously a great sense of accomplishment."

The Jaguars in Khan's first six seasons won five or fewer games and won just 17 total games during that span. They won their first divisional titles in 18 seasons last season and they also made the AFC Championship Game for the first time in that span.

"A lot of the owners have asked me, 'What was the big change? What was the difference?''' Khan said.

Khan discussed several on-field topics during his discussion with Jacksonville media Wednesday – his first such meeting since the end of last season. The topics included his emotions following a 24-20 AFC Championship Game loss to New England in January.

"I don't think you ever get over it; I think that's the wonderful thing – or the bad thing – about football," Khan said. "I think something in a constructive way has to stay with you."

The Jaguars led 20-10 in the fourth quarter of the game, with the Patriots scoring twice in the final minutes.

"You know what? Until the whistle blew, I thought we had a chance,'' Khan said. "That was the difference with this team: one play could have swung it.

"God knows, we had our opportunities."

Khan was asked if considering the team's success last season he would push the NFL for a prime-time game – or games – in 2018. The Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns were the only two NFL teams that didn't make a prime-time television appearance in 2017.

The NFL typically releases its regular-season schedule in April, with the prime-time television schedule released at that time.

"I'm not going to request anything," Khan said. "I haven't done it in the past and I'm not doing it. The reasons are very simple: [NFL Senior Vice President of Broadcasting] Howard Katz and the staff do a great job. Last year, the Browns and the Jaguars were the only two teams that didn't even have a Thursday night game – it turned out pretty good for us."

Khan noted that the Jaguars had lost their lone prime-time game the season before – a nationally-televised, 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans on a Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee.

Khan called the loss "one of the most humiliating nights for me."

"I wasn't going to ask for it so we could embarrass ourselves on prime time," Khan said. "Whatever they [league officials] choose, it's great for me."

Khan on Tuesday also commented on the Jaguars being scheduled to play the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles in London in 2018.

"I think it's great for the league," Khan said "It's wonderful to have a difference of opinion on something like that, with some of the owners saying, 'That could have been a great prime-time game'- with the success obviously the Eagles had [last season] and the success we had.

"But those opponents [for the league's London games] are decided before the season's over. It might lead to the league rethinking that maybe they ought to push the [announcement of the London] opponent toward the end of the season. For us it's great, and I think it's great for the Eagles. I talked to [Eagles Owner] Jeff Lurie, and he's looking forward to it."

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