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Khan: 'It's coming along very well'


One by one on Wednesday, they approached the owner.

Their hands were extended, and in this case, players weren't just saying hello to Jaguars Owner Shad Khan as he watched training camp practice.

For many Jaguars players – including center Brad Meester, tackle Eugene Monroe, tackle Eben Britton, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, linebacker Russell Allen and tight end Marcedes Lewis – Wednesday morning was a time to thank the man who helped make a recent $3 million locker-room renovation happen.

Khan afterward said he appreciated the thanks yous. But he also said considering what he knows of the players who work each day inside that state-of-the-art locker room he was far from surprised.

"We have great players," Khan said Wednesday, the second consecutive day he has attended Jaguars 2012 Training Camp at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

"Every player I've met is a wonderful human being – delightful, courteous, thoughtful. They're role models as people. Now, the important thing is we have to take all of these attributes and put them into winning."

Khan, who purchased the Jaguars in January, in seven months as owner has overseen several important changes within the organization. Not only did the team renovate the locker room, the franchise has hired Mark Lamping as the franchise's first president in more than a decade and it also hired Scott Massey as Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Hussain Naqi as Senior Vice President of Fan Experience.

"There's a newness also if you look at the coaching staff," Khan said. "And look at the new players we have, so it's all around. There's a tremendous amount of newness.

"I think it's coming along very well."

Khan said while has visited NFL training camps as a fan, he was impressed this week by the level of organization and planning that went into the process.

While Khan said he didn't want to discuss much about the ongoing contract situations of running back Maurice Jones-Drew and rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the team remains firm in its stance it will not renegotiate with Jones-Drew. The three-time Pro Bowl running back led the NFL in rushing last season and has two years remaining on a five-year contract.

The Jaguars also have yet to reach a contract with Blackmon, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. While Blackmon remains the lone first-round selection unsigned, the team reportedly is seeking safeguards in the contract that would protect it in the event of future off-field problems.

"Hope springs eternal," Khan told reporters. "We're highly optimistic and energized, even with a distraction or two. You're always optimistic. You hope for the best and plan for the worst."

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