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Shad Khan: No in-season changes


LONDON, England – The state of the Jaguars will be assessed, and progress must be shown.

But Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said in terms of the team's performance under General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley, a final assessment won't come at midseason.

Khan, speaking in London a day before the Jaguars' appearance in the NFL's International Series against the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium Sunday, said he has not and will not consider a coaching change during the season.

"I think that's the only sane and proper thing to do," Khan said when asked if the current leadership will at minimum be in place the final 10 games of the 2015 season.

"It (a change) never even crossed my mind from that viewpoint. Absolutely."

The Jaguars, after records of 4-12 and 3-13 since Caldwell and Bradley took over in 2013, have started 1-5 this season. Khan said his assessment of the direction of the franchise will be made at season's end with an eye on the overall growth of the team.

"You want to see how the football team is now versus three years ago," Khan said. "Life in general and football in particular is not a straight line going up. It's more the trend – it gets better, gets worse, gets better.

"We know where the starting point was. We want to see what the ending point is and what the journey has been over the last three years."

Khan added, "Believe me, they (Bradley and Caldwell) want to have success way more than any of us do. They're highly motivated. I think they're really kind of disappointed we're not having the success we should. We have to see how the season unfolds. There are 10 more games to be played, so more than half the season is out there. Then, we will be able to really see what has been done."

Jaguars President Mark Lamping, speaking alongside Khan in a small gathering with media on the eighth floor of the Dorchester in Mayfair, was asked about selling fans on a team struggling to win games.

"The only pressure I've felt is to do everything we can to repay the fans for their support," Lamping said. "They (fans) have outperformed us over the last three years that I have been here. When they leave the stadium not fully satisfied, that's what hurts."

The Jaguars, despite their record, have been more competitive this season than in 2013 and 2014. But aside from a 23-20 Week 2 victory over Miami, closer games have not translated to winning.

"I think there are a lot of pieces in play, and there is certainly a lot of room for encouragement and a lot of reasons for encouragement," Khan said. "Eventually, the way you measure a football team – any sports team – is wins and losses."

The Jaguars have been within a score or leading in the fourth quarter of four of their five losses, losing 20-9 to Carolina in Week 1, to Indianapolis 16-13 in overtime in Week 4, 38-31 to Tampa Bay in Week 5 and 31-20 to Houston in Week 6.

"I think everybody feels we should (be winning more)," Khan said. "I look at the last three games – I think we should have won more of those. There's no controversy or dispute. Every player, every person who is part of the Jaguars' football organization, feels we should have won. But what do we do going forward – I think that's the issue.

"I think it's very important that we don't become a victim of status quo or what we thought it was. The performance, the actions on the field, is what should dictate going forward.

"Open competition, healthy competition on the field, I think is what it's all about."

Asked if an assessment would be by the eye test or record, Khan said "I think it's a combination of a number of things."

"I don't think it's a simple metric," Khan said. "I think it's where we were three years ago. Some of us are closer. Some of us really maybe looked at it more superficially. Certainly, we've seen it inside out, what the challenges were and how far we've come. …

"Any plan, you have to be able to measure it at times and see where you're at, then be able to make a midcourse correction no matter what that might be."

Also on Saturday:

*Khan was asked if injury issues such as that of defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. would impact his assessment. Fowler, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a May rookie minicamp and is out for the season. "I think that's life in football," Khan said. "That's life in general. You have good breaks; you have some bad breaks. You have to take that into consideration, but it can't be a medium for excuse-making, either. Every team has those kinds of issues to deal with." …

*Khan also addressed other football issues, including salary cap space. The Jaguars have a reported league-high $32 in cap space this season, and some projections have them with $45 million next offseason. "We want to find the best players and we want to pay them whatever the market wages are," Khan said. "Resources have not been an issue for the team. It's finding the right players. Having some dry powder I think it's a great thing to be able to add." …

*Khan said this week's demotion of cornerback Davon House from starter to backup showed "we should not be playing players because we paid a lot of money for them. The test should be how they perform on the field. What position they were drafted, what we might be paying them – that shouldn't reflect whether they've earned their position on the field." The Jaguars this past offseason signed House as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers.

*Khan said he was encouraged by the progress this season of quarterback Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft: "If you look at the progress of just about every metric, it's one of the reasons for encouragement." …

*Lamping was asked if the on-field performance had diminished support from the business community. "Businesses don't invest whether you win or lose," he said. "They invest on how it's going to support their business. To the degree that wins and losses affect the return they receive, then they make the decision. … So, yes it does have an impact, but it's not expressed in terms of wins and losses. It's expressed in terms of, 'Does our relationship with the Jaguars help us move the needle in terms of our business?'''

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