Clowns party? Frustrated Jags fans try to get GM change | South Idaho Sports
By MARK LONG – AP Pro Football Editor
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – If a 40-point beating in New England hasn’t caught the full attention of Jacksonville owner Shad Khan, then what’s in the pipeline for the team’s season finale could do it well.
Frustrated fans revolt against the Jaguars and have Khan in their sights.
Hundreds, if not thousands, have changed their profile photos on social media to a clown wearing Khan’s signature mustache. And they started responding to every Jaguar message or live stream with countless clown emojis. Next up: They plan to don clown costumes – red rubber noses, face makeup, and colorful wigs, at the very least – when the Jaguars (2-14) host Indianapolis (9-7) at TIAA Bank Field. Sunday.
The aim is to persuade Khan to fire chief executive Trent Baalke, whose reputation and repeated mistakes have been under the microscope ever since. NFL Network announced Baalke would be retained in 2022 and would help in finding coaches for the team.
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Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Green Bay offensive coordinator Nate Hackett and Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich have reportedly declined to interview the Jaguars in the final two weeks of the regular season, leaving many wondering if the presence de Baalke was a problem.
Baalke’s resume includes three straight NFC Championship games with San Francisco (2011-13) and reports he was a problem behind the scenes as he worked with former NFL coaches Jim Harbaugh (2011-14) , Jim Tomsula (2015), Chip Kelly (2016) and, more recently, Urban Meyer (2021).
Baalke inherited a Jaguars team that had the No. 1 draft pick (quarterback Trevor Lawrence), five of the top 65 picks and about $ 100 million in salary cap space. And it somehow made Jacksonville worse and arguably a bigger laughing stock than it was during Khan’s dysfunctional decade as owner.
Khan fired Meyer on December 16. In the three games since, the Jaguars have been outscored by equally dismal Houston and the New York Jets, then completely embarrassed in a 50-10 loss to the Patriots on Sunday.
Just four years ago, Jacksonville and New England met in the AFC title game, with the Patriots claiming a 24-20 victory after falling down by 10 in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars are 14-50 since and have parted ways with almost all of the team’s starters. The Pats are 40-25 in the same period, with two Super Bowl appearances and are now returning to the playoffs for the third time.
“I haven’t been in the NFL for a long time so I still don’t know how it all works completely, but I just trust who’s in leadership positions,” Lawrence said. “At the end of the day, my job is to be a quarterback and lead this team, and I can’t do everything, and that’s what I’m going to do.
“Other than that, I’m just going to put my head down, go to work, and I’m confident we’re going to come out in a much better position next year than we are now. I 100% believe it, and can’t wait to do it because a lot of these guys deserve it.
The Jaguars have lost eight straight games and will end the season with a 17-game slippage on the road and a 16-game slide against NFC opponents. They’ve lost 10 straight to enemies in the AFC South, a streak that could reach 11 with a loss to the Colts – and potentially thousands of clown-clad fans in the stands.
The Jaguars are closing in on the No.1 pick for the second consecutive season. He was celebrated last season, with Jacksonville positioning himself to land a generational quarterback. There’s not a lot of buzz this time around, with passer Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) considered the top prospects.
Lawrence’s ball safety again became an issue. The rookie has made eight turnovers in his last four games, looking so out of touch on Sunday that interim coach Darrell Bevell considered retiring him in the fourth quarter.
Laquon Treadwell has at least four receptions in six straight games, pleading for a comeback next season. A 2016 first-round pick from Minnesota, Treadwell had 30 catches for a career-high 410 yards.
Whatever chances Jacksonville’s assistant coaches have of returning next season, they seem to be dwindling.
Close end James O’Shaughnessy (hip) is expected to return for the final.
6 – winning streak – yes, wins – the Jags have at home against Indianapolis. The Colts last won in Jacksonville in 2014.
Finding the right combination of coach and general manager that can help Jacksonville end its losses.
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