JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Shad Khan wants his team to do something next season it hasn’t done in nearly a decade. Coach Gus Bradley’s job hinges on it, too.
The Jacksonville Jaguars owner said Friday that a winning record in 2016 is “everybody’s reasonable expectation at this point.”
Khan gave Bradley and his staff one-year contract extensions last week, keeping them under contract through 2017.
But speaking at a state of the franchise briefing Friday, Khan made it clear that on-field results have to improve for the current regime to stick around beyond next season.
Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell are 12-36 in three seasons, winning four, three and five games in their tenure. The first two years were spent gutting one of the league’s least-talented rosters.
The Jaguars were expected to make significant strides in 2015, but fell well short of expectations because of slow starts, missed opportunities and one of the league’s worst defenses.
When asked what he would like to see next season, Khan said, “Well, I think obviously better than 5-11. We want to have a team that is sustainable and wins. We’ve spent time, patience and investment to build a solid foundation that’s going to last for a long time.”
Jacksonville has several building blocks, including quarterback Blake Bortles, tight end Julius Thomas and receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. The Jaguars also have the most money (more than $30 million) to spend under the salary cap in 2016.
Khan said he expects to “get some really high-end talent” in free agency to help revamp the defense.
But will it be enough to turn around a franchise that has endured nine consecutive non-winning seasons? The most recent time Jacksonville finished above .500 was 2007, also the last time the team made the playoffs.
“I’ve been here four years. I know where we were. I know the journey we’ve been on and I see the progress we’ve made and how far we have to go,” Khan said. “I think the offense last year, if we had said where we are, certainly I’d be delighted. I think the defense, we’ve got some heavy lifting to do.”
Other notable news from the state of the franchise briefing:
- Despite a 14-50 record during Khan’s tenure, the Jaguars are raising ticket prices by an average of 3.6 percent. Jacksonville ranked 28th in the NFL in ticket prices in 2015.
“Awesome if you’re buying tickets. Not so good if it leads to instability for your NFL franchise,” team president Mark Lamping said.
- The Jaguars moved from 30th to 26th in local revenue, one of the biggest jumps in the league. Local revenue is considering one of the main factors in franchise stability.
“This is a very strong NFL market,” Lamping said. “It’s a small market, but if you set aside size, this is a very strong NFL market. … The strategy is working. We have a long way to go. We’re not the only NFL franchise focused on local revenue or the only NFL franchise doing things to drive local revenue.”
- Khan is committed to playing annually in London, which helps Jacksonville boost its local revenue, and he doesn’t want to see an NFL team relocate across the pond.
“It’s been really good for the Jaguars and Jacksonville,” Khan said. “I really want to see us protect what we’ve done. We have a full-time staff over there and we want that to grow and really stabilize the Jaguars.”
- No surprise, but Khan ruled out trying to get another Super Bowl to Jacksonville, saying “what it takes to get a Super Bowl is setting Jacksonville up for failure.” Instead, he wants to host an NFL draft in the future.
- The Jaguars released detailed renderings of their latest stadium improvements, which include renovated club seating, a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility and a 5,000-seat covered amphitheater.
Construction already has started in the clubs, which will remove about 2,800 seats and replace them with open areas, bar-rail seating and patio furniture. Construction on the indoor facility and the amphitheater will begin soon and completely change the space behind the south end zone.
“If Shad is going to do something, he wants it to be the best it possibly can be,” Lamping said. “That was the challenge here. … Why don’t we try to do something bigger and better and more special? Let’s not just settle for what is the easy way to do it. That’s what has led us to where we are now. It’s a very complicated design.”
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