Jaguars owner doesn't want 'knee-jerk reactions'

Jaguars owner doesn't want 'knee-jerk reactions'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan doesn't want to have any ``knee-jerk reactions'' to his team's losing ways.

The Jaguars (1-7) have dropped five in a row and are 0-4 at home this season heading into Thursday's game against Indianapolis.

Khan, who stayed in town for the short week, made it clear Wednesday that he doesn't plan on making any changes before the end of the season.

``You don't show up at 16 from Pakistan and have a successful life,'' said Khan, the league's only minority owner. ``You go through a lot of adversity and failures. You learn from that, and probably the most important thing is not to have knee-jerk reactions when things get tough - not to add drama to uncertainty.''

There had been speculation that Khan might fire general manager Gene Smith and maybe even coach Mike Mularkey given the results, but the owner put that to rest for now.

``This will be something for me to reflect on at the end of the season,'' he said.

Khan, a billionaire who amassed his fortune by making high-tech bumpers for the automotive industry, bought the Jaguars for $770 million last November and officially took control Jan. 4. He kept Smith as a holdover from owner Wayne Weaver's regime and allowed him to head the search for a new coach.

Smith hired Mularkey, the former offensive coordinator in Atlanta, but the move hasn't paid dividends.

The Jaguars rank last in the league in total offense and have scored fewer points than anyone. Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert has made some progress, but still lacks pocket presence. First-round draft pick Justin Blackmon has had all sorts of awareness issues and is averaging just 10.7 yards a catch.

Smith kept most of former coach Jack Del Rio's defensive assistants - a questionable decision in hindsight - and few fans have forgiven Smith for feeling so good about his roster that he drafted strong-legged punter Bryan Anger in the third round.

Adding to Smith's seemingly shaky job security, Khan revealed that the Jaguars have the sixth-highest payroll in the league and have spent $17 million over the salary cap because of money rolled over from 2011.

``There are certain companies and organizations that win over time and certain companies and organizations that lose over time,'' Khan said. ``It doesn't matter whether it's auto parts or football, you know which organizations are where. The most important thing for me is that this organization that's going to win over time.''

Khan is pleased with the business side of the organization.

The Jaguars rank 21st in ticket sales, he said, and have signed several new sponsors. Khan expects to add more revenue streams by playing four homes games in London - one a year beginning next season.

And he is proud of all the little tweaks made to improve the game-day experience at EverBank Field.

But the on-field product needs work, and Khan realizes it.

``Some of these answers might not be satisfying, but the simple fact is I don't want to satisfy people in the short term,'' he said. ``What's more important is the long team. We don't want to make the wrong decisions now that we pay a price for over time.''

In a wide-ranging, 50-minute interview with reporters, Khan told about going out of his way to meet other NFL owners, talked about how he's learned that the league puts him under the microscope - ``cameras follow you to the bathroom'' - and how he plans to rely on his business background to shape the direction of the small-market franchise. He laughed when asked about pursuing quarterback Tim Tebow again and offered his three keys to a sustainable organization: people, processes and support.

But he gave few hints about what he will do at the end of the season.

``I've gone through life getting on and off the treadmill of firing and hiring,'' he said. ``I found out that really wasn't the answer. ... Everybody here wants to win. There's nobody who's happy with the results. We want to win, every coach, every player, everybody in player personnel.''

Quick Links

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

Quick Links

Five observations from the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors, including Bradley Beal's historic shot

USA Today

Five observations from the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors, including Bradley Beal's historic shot

The Washington Wizards lost 117-113 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Here are five observations from the game.

Rough start 

Those bad losses that defined the Wizards' fateful 2017-18 season, the ones against undermanned teams on what look going in like schedule losses; yeah, those are still a thing.

Through two games this season, the Wizards have suffered two of them. They fell to the Heat, who were down a host of rotation players and were playing on a back-to-back, in their opener. And on Saturday, they lost to the Raptors, who where missing Kawhi Leonard and Delon Wright and who had just played the Celtics the night before.

The Wizards may be without Dwight Howard, but it's hard to excuse those types of defeats. They are the ones that teams kick themselves for later in the season when playoff seeding is determined. They are the ones that keep teams from winning 50 games and reaching their full potential. Unfortunately, this all sounds too familiar.

The good news is that it's extremely early. The bad news is that the Wizards now head out on the road to play away games at the Blazers, who finished third in the West last year, and then the Warriors, who are gunning for their third straight championship. If they are to bounce back soon, it will have to be against one of the best teams in basketball.

Beal made history

Bradley Beal accomplished something on Saturday that was a long time coming. He entered the season just seven threes away from the Wizards/Bullets franchise record, and in the fourth quarter, he got there.

With his fifth three of the game, Beal knocked down his 869th career triple. That bests Gilbert Arenas, who hit 868 in a Wizards uniform. 

Beal, who is only 25, is only getting started. He's probably going to double that number, it's just a matter if all of them will come with the Wizards because he's got a long career ahead of him.

Speaking of threes, the Wizards took 39 of them. That tied a new franchise mark for three-point attempts in a game. They weren't joking about committing more to the long-ball this season.

Howard still out

The Wizards were without Howard once again due to his piriformis muscle strain, which has now been a storyline for going on a month. On Saturday, he got a lengthy workout in before the game, but didn't seem all that close to playing, despite the fact the Wizards insist he is a gametime decision.

Head coach Scott Brooks was asked before the game if Howard would definitely play on the upcoming five-game road trip and he stopped short of saying he would. That could be pure gamesmanship. He may be just keeping his opponents guessing. 

But if he does, say, miss Monday's game against the Blazers, it will become harder to believe that he's as close as the team keeps saying he is.

Howard's absence was felt once again on the glass. Much like in their first game, the Wizards were absolutely worked on the boards, this time to the tune of 52-to-37.

Howard will help their rebounding cause a lot when he comes back, but clearly the rest of the team has some issues there, at least early this season.

Brooks, by the way, was ejected in the third quarter. After Beal got a technical, Brooks charged towards halfcourt and got T'd up twice. It's not often we see Brooks get that hot.

Porter was more selfish early

There has been so much talk about Otto Porter Jr. needing to shoot more often that it's clear Brooks, John Wall and Porter himself are tired of being asked about it. Brooks has been resigned in recent days to some blunt honesty about it mostly being Porter's problem, that he needs to be more selfish in looking for his own shot.

The message apparently got across because Porter was much more assertive early against the Raptors. After shooting only seven field goals in the season opener on Thursday, he had seven by the end of the first half. And after not attempting a single three against the Heat, Porter had three shots from long range in the first four minutes.

The problem is that Porter then disappeared. He only had two shots in the second half and one was on a final heave at the buzzer. Porter had 11 points and one rebound. Not great.

Raptors are going to be a problem 

We knew the Raptors would be good and potentially even better this season with Leonard in the place of DeMar DeRozan. As good as DeRozan is, and he's very good, Leonard is even better.

What many may be sleeping on is the potential of the rest of their roster. Danny Green was a nice pickup in the Leonard trade and they have a host of young guys who continue to get better. O.G. Anunoby is a rare athlete who already makes a big impact on defense and has an improving feel for the game on offense. 

Fred Van Vleet, now with a new contract, can change games with his quickness and smarts. Already a force on defense, Pascal Siakam is starting to develop some clever offensive moves. 

Siakam had one play in the fourth quarter that was particularly surprising. He got the ball in the slot, drove to his left and threw down a two-handed, and-1 posterdunk.

The Raptors may be deeper than they were last year because they have so many young players on the rise and they were one of the deepest teams in basketball in 2017-18.