The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off of their worst season in franchise history, but a man who no longer has anything to do with the franchise is taking a share of the blame for the teams recent struggles.
Former Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, who sold the team to new owner Shahid Khan in January of 2012, said in an interview that he takes responsibility for where the Jaguars currently find themselves in terms of not being a competitive franchise on the football field.
“I take full responsibility for our lack of success in the last few years, but it’s not because people didn’t work hard. We missed on too many draft classes. You have to be responsible for those mistakes,” Weaver said.
Weaver will forever be a beloved figure in the Jacksonville community for bringing the NFL to town in 1993, but some of the decisions he made towards the end of his tenure are the main reason why the Jaguars are starting another roster reconstruction. Perhaps the reason the Jaguars are in their current situation was Weavers loyalty to former general manager Gene Smith, who was recently fired one year into a three-year contract extension that most people feel he did not deserve. Handing Smith that contract extension was one of the last things Weaver did before he announced the sale of the team, despite the fact that the team had drafted poorly and the team had gotten worse each year he was in charge of the personnel decisions.
Weaver may have still been haunted by what he still refers to as his biggest mistake as owner in firing former head coach Tom Coughlin. Still Smith had not produced any results in his first three years and the franchise kept him around for a year too long. Perhaps Weavers biggest flaw was the fact that he was fiercely loyal to the guys who had been with him since the beginning of the franchise.
This offseason Khan got rid of the last remnants of the Weaver regime and has started to build this franchise with the guys he thinks are capable of bringing the winning tradition of the late 90’s back to Jacksonville. One thing is for sure, Khan will not possess Weaver’s patience and retain guys who he feels are not doing their job. In the long run that may be best for the future of the Jaguars.