Detroit Lions 2012 Schedule Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

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December 15, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars new team owner Shahid Kahn on the field during the game against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

3. What is your take on the new ownership in town?

LS: I think Shahid Khan is great for the Jaguars. He has approached the team in a positive, fighting spirit and has immediately made an impact on the community. Whether it’s mustache night or trying to remove the tarps from Everbank field, Khan is there to make the Jaguars a better and more marketable product. Khan knows how to succeed in business, and the NFL is a rough business. I think he’ll do quite well. He already has my support and I think he has won over everyone else too.

4. Is there any worry of Maurice Jones-Drew’s contract situation becoming a distraction?

LS: MJD’s contract dispute became a distraction the minute he didn’t meet with head coach Mike Mularkey. It is not a Chad Ochocinco level distraction, but not having the team leader around to mentor rookies and prepare for an entirely new offense and support a new coaching staff is automatically divisive. Mularkey has made it clear that the team will prepare without him and get ready for the season. GM Gene Smith has made it clear he will not be extending Jones-Drew. So, every day that MJD holds out the more it hurts the team. I know that thought is running through the front office’s head and the impact on the new players probably won’t be felt until the season starts but it will be there. The Josh Scobee contract dispute has a much higher potential to get vocal and nationally distracting.

5. What are your expectations for the Jaguars in 2012?

LS: My expectations are probably pretty similar to the coaching staff’s expectations. I expect Gabbert to get more chances in games and the offense to respond well to a more balanced approach. I also expect the defense to push ever closer to being the top unit in the league. As to record, I think the Jags have a legitimate shot at going 8-8 and could possibly push into 9-7 territory. I don’t expect the AFC South crown, but playing the role of spoiler to the Texans sounds nice.

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