Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

Gus Bradley’s First Camp: “Slow Down!”

It’s been a few years but the Jaguars have all 90 players under contract in camp on time in the first year under new head coach Gus Bradley. “It’s about trust,” Bradley said this week. “We can immediately trust them from a coach’s perspective as players to do the things necessary to win. The other way might take some time. They need to learn to trust us as coaches that what we’re doing is going to work.”

Bradley’s right and part of that is because his style is so different from anything in the past. Full time music, up tempo timing and non-stop work will be the hallmarks of Bradley’s first Jaguars camp as head coach. He’s excited and is trying to temper that.

“We’ll have to slow down a bit,” he told us on Thursday. “We’re so excited to get on the field and get started we’ll be going a million miles a hour so we need to be aware of that and slow down.”

Bradley has emphasized that there’s an open competition at every position, so the focus and effort.

This year’s Jaguars team has players who know what to say and how to say it. Chad Henne had just about every cliché you can think of in just one sentence. “Of course I want to be the starter but I’m here to compete. I’m here to help the team and get better. I’m competing against myself. I want to get better every day. That’s the key.”

Of course they didn’t become cliché’s because they weren’t true. Henne is right when it comes to the attitude of this year’s Jaguars team and what kind of chord you have to strike going into training camp. You can’t pace yourself on the field, because you’re being evaluated on every play. But you need to know how to get the job done, day after day with tired legs and a worn out brain.

“I’m going to lean on the veterans to see how it’s done,” first round draft pick Luke Joeckel said as he reported to his first camp. “Camp’s a grind and everybody knows that. You just have to handle it,”

And he’s right. You can’t win a job or lose it in the first week. In the second week, guys start to separate themselves both physically and mentally. But this first week is a blur, a whirlwind of action and emotion.

Jaguars training camp is open to the public thru the scrimmage at the stadium next Saturday night, August 3rd except for Tuesday which is the players day off.

Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

Big Thinking Khan Style

When it comes to business acumen, Shad Khan’s is well documented. So it initially seemed strange when it was revealed that he was interested in buying a Premier League team.

Earlier this year and in 2012, Khan said he “didn’t like the business model” in the EPL. “They don’t have a salary cap.”

But clearly he changed his mind and negotiated to buy Fulham, a team that’s stayed in the Premiership for the past 12 years.

“Things change,” he told me after introducing the Fulham management and their captain. “They have a new television contract, they’ve gotten their sponsorship in place and it’s all about revenue. They can create revenue.”

Khan believes Fulham can be a profitable club especially with some stadium improvements and expansion and whatever synergy they can create with the Jaguars of the NFL. “They’re a fan friendly club. They have a neutral stand (for fans) where you don’t have to be a supporter of the home club. They’re in the right part of the city. Their grounds are on the banks of the Thames. They’re a perfect fit for us.”

Although they will operate as separate business entities, Khan believes there is plenty of opportunity for cross promotion, cross sponsorship and cross money-making.

“Every time they talk about Fulham, they’ll talk about Shad Khan, the Jaguars and Jacksonville,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping who will also serve as a Director for Fulham. “There will be chances to for the synergy of the two clubs to come together but this does nothing but raise the profile of Jacksonville.”

Khan noted that every game in the EPL will be televised and as the most popular league in the world, it’s possible that 300-million viewers could be watching Fulham play some of their games against high profile opponents like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

At the informal introduction of Fulham’s CEO, their Manager and the team Captain, there was real excitement in the room when the Fulham reps talked about Khan and his “custodianship” of the Cottagers. They were impressed by the facility the Jaguars have put together to practice and play games in and were genuinely excited at the prospect of playing a game at our stadium some time next year.

“About this time in 2014, Fulham will play a game here,” Khan said when talking about the two cities and the two clubs. “It’s important that our EPL team was in London to raise the profile of the Jaguars in that city and internationally. The chance to enhance the revenue for both clubs is great. There’s a lot going on here (in Jacksonville) that we can take advantage of. It seems easy that the equation of two plus two can equal ten. You just have to have the right two plus two.”

When it was noted early on in Khan’s tenure as the Jaguars owner that the Weavers had “passed the baton to a faster runner,” I’m not sure anybody realized just how fast this runner was. Khan is a big thinker and is trying to drag the city and the city leadership along. When it comes to building the franchise, Khan will make that happen and raise the profile of Jacksonville internationally as well.

A few wins wouldn’t hurt either.

Get on board.