The #14 player on our list today, perhaps gets lost in the talk of Jaguar greats, but he was a dominant force in the latter years of the successful Coughlin Era.
We roll on....
#14. Gary Walker, DT, 1999-2001
Going into the 1999 season, the Jaguars made a point to finally stop being a sieve against the big bruising backs of the AFC. Tom Coughlin signed Walker as the premier free agent of the '99 off-season from the newly renamed Tennessee Titans, as part of the "addition by subtraction" method Coughlin loved to use in free agency. Walker instantly became the most dominant interior lineman the Jaguars had ever had to that point of their young history, and although his stay was somewhat brief, his impact was resounding.
Walker became part of the backbone to the defense of the '99 team that to this day remains the greatest team in franchise history. He started all sixteen games that season, as the team went 14-2 and made it's second AFC Championship appearance. During this time, Walker recorded a career-high 46 tackles, while racking up a career-high 10 sacks as well, an impressive feat from the defensive tackle position. Those 10 sacks remain a franchise record from a defensive tackle. In the Divisional round playoff game against Miami, Walker destroyed the Dolphins interior line, recording 2 sacks in the game.
Prior to the '99 post-season, Walker organized a team rap song along with fellow teammates Leon Searcy, Keenan McCardell, Jimmy Smith, and Fernando Bryant. The song was played on a local radio station during the two week playoff run, and was eventually used as "locker room fodder", for the Tennessee Titans as a catalyst for their upset of the Jags in the AFC title game. For this act alone, Walker made me want to never include his name in any mention of the Jaguars, but objectivity wins out here.
His play continued to help anchor the Jaguars defensive line over the next two seasons. He fought through injuries in 2000 to record 5 sacks, and 40 tackles, despite missing two games to injury. In 2001, playing alongside newly drafted rookie Marcus Stroud, Walker registered 35 tackles, and 7.5 sacks. For this performance, he was elected as a first-alternate to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, and became only the second Jaguars defensive lineman to appear in the game.
The Jaguars released Walker following the '01 season as part of a salary cap purge. Ironically, unlike other veterans who were released during this time, Walker went on to sign with the expansion Houston Texans in 2002, and had another Pro Bowl season, registering 6.5 sacks and 37 tackles. He was also named to the NFL's All-Pro team for his performance.
Walker would play three more seasons as a Texan, before retiring in 2006. In only 47 games played as a Jaguar, Walker still ranks 6th all-time in sacks with 22.5, and is 27th all-time in tackles with 121. While his stint with the team was brief, his impact and performance makes him an all-time great for the teal and black, and one of the greatest defensive players to ever call himself a Jaguar.
The Top- 25 List:
#25. Aaron Beasley, CB, 1996-2001
#24. Bryan Barker, P, 1995-2000
#23. Donovin Darius, S, 1998-2006
#22. David Garrard, QB, 2002-2010
#21. Josh Scobee, K, 2004-Present
#20. Kyle Brady, TE, 1999-2006
#19. Kevin Hardy, LB, 1996-2001
#18. Brad Meester, C, 2000-Present
#17. Vince Manuwai, G, 2003-2010
#16. Mike Peterson, LB, 2003-2008
#15. Mike Hollis, K, 1995-2001
#14. Gary Walker, DT, 1999-2001
What Do You Think of Gary Walker Being Named the #14 "Greatest Jaguar of All-Time"?
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