Shad Khan has hired coaches and general managers before. He relied on a search firm the first time. He enlisted help from a consultant the second. He listened to friends, family, colleagues and even competitors along the way.
Now, after nine NFL seasons and little success on the field, the Jacksonville Jaguars owner is taking a more hands-on approach to fixing the franchise's most glaring problems.
Khan is handling the search for his next coach and general manager mostly alone, with some help from Jaguars President Mark Lamping.
“This time around, I think I have a much better sense myself,” Khan said Monday after firing coach Doug Marrone. “I’m the key decision maker.”
Khan plans to have the team's next power duo report directly to him, a structure he expects will keep him in the loop on major personnel decisions. Khan said he wants to maintain “roster control," a term he later clarified as “you don’t want players going in and out or contracts given until you’re aware of that.”
“It's not really who’s coming in, but to really have a rhythm, that everybody is aligned on who might be leaving the team and who might be coming in, at least for the immediate future,” he added. “Those are some of the nuances I want to make sure everybody is on board with, because I think it’s really important here that we don’t head off in the wrong direction with an imbalance in power, for the lack of a better word.”
Khan also made it clear finding a franchise quarterback — hello, Trevor Lawrence — is as important as hiring the right people to those key positions.
“What's evaded the history of the Jags really has been a franchise quarterback,” Khan said. "I think what’s unique is we have the ability now to make a choice and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”