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The first big challenge


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The Jaguars' owner-to-be on Friday offered no hints at the identity of the coach-to-be.

What Shahid Khan did offer at a 3 p.m. news conference at EverBank Field was insight into the traits he will see in the person who will be the next permanent coach of the Jaguars.

 "I can describe obviously two qualities," Khan said. "It has to be a person you like and trust, and a person who can win. You don't want to be winning with a person you despise, and don't want to be losing with a person you like. Simple."

Khan, who is expected to take control of the franchise from Wayne Weaver January 4, said Friday interim coach Mel Tucker will be a candidate for the position. Tucker has been the head coach on an interim basis since Weaver fired Jack Del Rio from the position November 29.

Khan said finding the next coach is "a big challenge."

"It's something absolutely we have to get done and get done right," he said. "I think it's very, very important.  The first decision certainly I'm going to be part of that's going to determine what our future is going to be for the next few years."

Khan, who spent Friday meeting with city officials and Jaguars staff, is expected to spend the weekend in Jacksonville familiarizing himself with the organization. He said Friday he "absolutely" expects to be in many of the meetings involving the coaching search.

"I'm not saying all of them but I'm going to get to know because I have some really strong feelings," said Khan, the Owner of Flex-N-Gate, Corp. "I mean, I've hired thousands of people and you can make an argument that auto parts is different from football. Not really. 

"You've got to know the values of a person, how they're going to click. We see that the right coach for us could be the wrong coach for another team, and same thing vice versa applies. We've got to be a good organization that deserves a good coach."

Khan said while finding the right coach is critical, he also said it's important to have no preconceived notion about the eventual candidate.

"What worked five years ago is not necessarily going to work today," he said. "That's why in an organization one person can make a difference, but very rarely do they make a difference. You've got to have the right person and we've got to be the right organization."

Khan said salary won't be an impediment to finding the right coach.

"Cheapness and the NFL don't go together," Khan said. "This is not a cheap league. Our goal is not to get the expensive wrong coach or try to find a cheap good coach. We want the right guy that's going to win for us.

"You have to pay them a fair wage. We're not looking for a bargain person. We're looking for the right person and paying them whatever's appropriate."

Khan also on Friday:

*Said he believes rookie Blaine Gabbert "can be a successful quarterback." He said of the importance of the quarterback position, "This is a passing league. This is a quarterback league. If you are not doing those, you're not going to be successful. I care about playing winning football. What is winning football today? It's quarterback, it's a passing game. With that comes excitement, which puts fans in the seats."

*Discussed the idea of hiring a team president, and said, "If I feel that's what we need to do, that's what we're going to do. The worst thing for me is you have too many layers, you don't get the true picture. I don't need somebody banging heads for me, I can do that. I want to get it unvarnished, simple as that." He added, "One thing I'm certain of, we're not going to have a structure of some superpower egomaniac. That doesn't work or me. That's not going to work here. If somebody thought that is a solution for here, they're gonna be disappointed. . . . You guys know who those guys are by yourself. I would've said that even before it ended in utter failure. I've seen that in other businesses. People forget, this is a football business. The principles of business apply here. It's just football. Instead of making auto parts, you make, you got a football team. So the rules apply. To have an all-empowering egomaniac is not a good thing in auto parts or football. If you're looking for the superman or the silver bullet, I think you're deceiving yourself."

*Talked about his ownership style, and said although he's not a micromanager he will be "as involved as necessary, have as a big a presence as necessary to make a difference, and that's in the community but also on the field." He added, "My goal is not to just show up for the game and then yell and scream and leave."

*Said owners at the NFL meetings in Dallas discussed the Jaguars' television ratings home and away. "We're going to have great attendance when we're not even playing here," he said.

*Asked fans to support the team in the final game of the season, a game that will be the last for the Weavers as owners. "We're going to have a couple hundred of our friends here, so if there any seats here we want to make sure people from Jacksonville are here, too," he said.

*Reiterated his stance that religion will not be an issue in how he runs the Jaguars. "The reason I asked that was that it was a great concern to people, that somehow religion was going to get between a man and his Bud Light," he said. "And I wanted to assure people that religion is a private matter, personal matter, and in no way, shape or form really affects the operation."

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