On this Monday, one day after a 20-13 loss to the Houston Texans that essentially ended any last ditch hope the Jaguars had at the postseason, there was little to be excited about when it came to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a 3-8 team with a lame duck coach, and the only thing being discussed was possible replacement coaches in the offseason and whether or not general manager Gene Smith would stay with the team.
Everything changed on Tuesday morning when news broke that head coach Jack Del Rio had been fired and owner Wayne Weaver and the minority partners sold the team to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.
With the dust settled after crazy day of events on Tuesday and a few interesting notes on Wednesday, the Jaguars went back to practice Thursday. But they do so now with a new sense of energy and with a fan base that is suddenly rejuvenated, despite the 2011 season now essentially meaningless.
With Mel Tucker serving as interim head coach there have already been noticable differences at practice, just one day into his tenure. Mark Long of the Associated Press tweeted, "Most interesting part of practice: no stragglers. Normally, the non-special teams guys stroll in after start time." Followed by another tweet after the practice, " ended practice 18 minutes early and EVERY player says the tempo was a major difference."
The players aren't the only ones that are seemingly re-dedicating themselves as fans have had a sudden showing of passion in response to the news that Khan will take ownership of the Jaguars. Khan acknowledged as much in a public statement he released regarding his decision to not attend Monday night's game against the Chargers.
The Jacksonville community has been simply terrific since our announcement on Tuesday, and my entire family is extremely appreciative. I am aware of the supportive letters, calls, emails, Tweets and even T-shirts, and your kindness is truly appreciated. It’s exactly what Wayne promised us when we expressed our commitment to Jacksonville and the Jaguars, and I can’t wait to finally meet everyone in person later this month. In the meantime … Go Jaguars!"
In just three days the (3-8) Jaguars matchup against the (4-7) Chargers has gone from potentially being a blacked out Monday Night Football game into a game with a certain amount of interest and intrigue around it amongst the city of Jacksonville.