Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he believes the franchise is moving forward but acknowledges he probably should have started the rebuilding project in his first season as owner instead of waiting until Year 2.
"Obviously, if you're a Jaguars fan, we want to do better," Khan told The Florida Times-Union on Wednesday in London. "But we know the process we started, which is pretty much starting from the ground up, cleaning house and doing something ... we probably should have started earlier."
Khan purchased the Jaguars in November 2011. He kept general manager Gene Smith, who fired coach Jack Del Rio and eventually hired Mike Mularkey. The Jaguars finished 5-11 in 2011, but Smith believed the team was close to being able to contend for the playoffs and signed five free agents, including receiver Laurent Robinson to a five-year, $32.5 million contract.
The Jaguars went 2-14 in 2012 and Khan fired Smith and Mularkey. He hired David Caldwell away from the Atlanta Falcons to be the team's general manager, and Caldwell hired Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to be the team's coach. Together, they immediately began rebuilding the roster.
One of the first to go was Robinson. He suffered four concussions, missed nine games and caught just 24 passes in 2012. The team also told veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis, a Jacksonville native, that he would not be re-signed.
By the time this season began, the Jaguars had 26 new players on the roster, including seven of the team's eight draft picks.
"We've got to get more talent," Khan told the newspaper. "But I definitely feel we're moving in the right direction. Status quo, maintaining what we had, was not an option."
However, the Jaguars have struggled to an 0-7 start and are the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to lose its first seven games by double digits. The Jaguars are 17-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Khan doesn't doubt his two key hires, though.
"I thought Dave and Gus were absolutely the two right guys for the job and, as the season has unfolded, if I could be convinced more, I am."