Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Right Fit Trumped Flash, Splash; Khan Says Jags Talked to Several Big Names, but Mularkey Was Clear Choice

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Right Fit Trumped Flash, Splash; Khan Says Jags Talked to Several Big Names, but Mularkey Was Clear Choice

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

Think smart instead of splash.

That was the explanation from Jaguars owner Shahid Khan Wednesday when he explained why the Jaguars bypassed some higher profile coaches for Mike Mularkey.

Mularkey hasn't been a coach with a team that won a playoff game since 2002 and has never made the Super Bowl in 27 years as a player or coach.

Khan said the Jaguars made the smart choice even though making a splash might have made it easier to sell tickets.

"It was about after the splash, are they going to be successful?" Khan explained. "When you start sobering up, how does it feel? After the binge, how do you feel?"

"You have to really get over that. You have to figure out who's going to make us win on the field and who would be the best choice for Jacksonville. We really researched this thing literally since the day Wayne announced the sale. General manager Gene [Smith] has been working on it since then. We got a huge amount of information."

"It's going to help push us forward. It's going to be the great rebirth of the Jaguars."

As to fan reaction, Khan compared it to the mixed reaction when it was announced he was buying the team from longtime owner Wayne Weaver.

"If you look at social media, I don't know what the numbers are, it's probably half and half. Some people say it's great, other people say it's not so good. That's OK," he said.

"I think when Wayne announced he was selling the team, probably more than half said, Oh, my gosh, this is a disaster. The team is going to move. Who is this guy coming in? Are we going to have beer in the stadium? Gosh, it's some Muslim.' The social media was abuzz. [But]if half thought it was good that the team was being sold, we only have to work on the other half. This is just like that. The ones who are uncomfortable, they've got to come out and meet Mike."

Khan said what counts most is what happens on the field beginning next September.

"Everybody looks great until the ball is snapped," he said. "Once the ball is snapped, the results speak for themselves. We will know in September how good a job he was doing preparing and strategizing. …

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