FanPost

A new era for the Jaguars

The Jaguars began playing NFL football 19 years ago. That’s not an exceptionally long history, but it’s enough for me to break down that period into four different eras.

The Original Jaguars

These guys were there from the beginning. Before the Jags ever put on a uniform or ran down the field during an NFL game, these four men were Jaguars. They set the tone, the mark of excellence, that those who want to be remembered as among the Jaguars’ best must meet. The criteria for inclusion is matching the longevity of the Jaguars’ first-ever selection, and perhaps the team’s greatest player ever, Tony Boselli.

The Original Jaguars

Boselli, Tony

OT

Southern Cal.

1995-2001

Hollis, Mike

PK

Idaho

1995-2001

Brunell, Mark

QB

Washington

1995-2003

Smith, Jimmy

WR

Jackson State

1995-2005

Hollis held the Jags all-time scoring record of 764 points until Josh Scobee broke it in 2012.

I don’t need to say anything further about the other three names.

The Tom Coughlin Era

These guys lived the Glory Years. AFC Championship Game in their second year. Playoff appearances in years three and four. Back to the AFC Championship game in year five. Then the bottom fell out. Three losing seasons in a row and what Wayne Weaver describes as maybe his worst football decision ever: firing Tom Coughlin. TC went on to accomplish great things as head coach of the New York Giants, but his time in Jacksonville had come to a justifiable end for a variety of reasons.

The Coughlin Era

Searcy, Leon

OT

Miami(Fla.)

1996-2000

Hardy, Kevin

LB

Illinois

1996-2001

McCardell, Keenan

WR

Nevada-Las Vegas

1996-2001

Beasley, Aaron

CB

West Virginia

1996-2001

Brackens, Tony

DE

Texas

1996-2003

Darius, Donovin

S

Syracuse

1998-2006

Taylor, Fred

RB

Florida

1998-2008

Bryant, Fernando

CB

Alabama

1999-2003

Brady, Kyle

TE

Penn State

1999-2006

Fred stands alone.

McCardell and Darius (and probably Brackens) played better than their recognition would imply. We forget how good a receiver Kyle Brady was. These guys were good players trapped in a bad situation. The Dark Ages, gloom, apathy, blackouts, dissension, the start of LA rumors.

The Meester Years

We just celebrated the end of a career that was Brad Meester. These other guys were there for a lot of it. A couple of them flashed a year or two, here and there. They could be astoundingly good or exasperatingly inconsistent. We thought some were better than they were, and are convinced others didn’t get the recognition their performances deserved.

The Meester Years*

Meester, Brad

C/G

Northern Iowa

2000-13

Spicer, Paul

DE

Saginaw Valley St.

2000-08

Meier, Rob

DL

Washington State

2000-09

Stroud, Marcus

DT

Georgia

2001-07

Williams, Maurice

OT/G

Michigan

2001-09

Naeole, Chris

G

Colorado

2002-08

Henderson, John

DT

Tennessee

2002-09

Garrard, David

QB

East Carolina

2002-10

Peterson, Mike

LB

Florida

2003-08

Manuwai, Vince

G

Hawaii

2003-10

Mathis, Rashean

CB/S

Bethune-Cookman

2003-12

Jones, Greg

FB/RB

Florida State

2004-12

Smith, Daryl

LB

Georgia Tech

2004-12

*Jones-Drew, Maurice RB UCLA 2006-

Meester could be metaphor for the Jaguars during his career. He toiled in obscurity. He worked hard to refine and improve his skills, but was frequently un(der)appreciated and cast to the side of the road during more than one off- season. He was often a disappointment, one whose effort seemingly went unrewarded, then a flash at the end, and the inevitability of a new life on the horizon.

* I decided to modify this era by adding MoJo based on UFNavy's comment below. He doesn't actually fit the criteria (although he will if he decides to sign elsewhere and not continue his career with the Jags). Regardless, I don't see him as the future of the Jags, so this is where he'd fit, regardless.

Khan’s Jaguars

And that brings us to now, the end of 2013.

The season’s over. The Jags ended up where a lot of people at the beginning of the season thought they would, but most definitely not the worst team ever in the 94-year history of the NFL as many spastically chirped as double-digit losses mounted during the first half of the season. But hey, we still have to wait until 2021 to find out if we were right or not.

This is our future: the multi-transaction, turn-over-the-roster group the 2013 Jaguars will carry forward. I see these 28 players as the foundation of the Jaguars. They won’t all be starters. Some will be the quality depth role-players or special teamers who are necessary to sustain a team during game situations or through injuries.

Khan’s Jaguars

Scobee, Josh

PK

Louisiana Tech

2004-13

Lewis, Marcedes

TE

UCLA

2006-13

Nwaneri, Uche

G

Purdue

2007-13

Alualu, Tyson

DE

California

2010-13

Bradfield, Cameron

T

Grand Valley St.

2011-13

Posluszny, Paul

LB

Penn State

2011-13

Shorts III, Cecil

WR/RS

Mount Union

2011-13

Anger, Bryan

P

California

2012-13

Blackmon, Justin

WR

Oklahoma State

2012-13

Branch, Andre

DE

Clemson

2012-13

Brown, Mike

WR

Liberty

2012-13

Davis, Ryan

DE

Bethune-Cookman

2012-13

Harris, Mike

CB

Florida State

2012-13

Pasztor, Austin

T

Virginia

2012-13

Todman, Jordan

RB

Connecticut

2012-13

Ball, Alan

CB

Illinois

2013

Blackmon, Will

CB

Boston College

2013

Cyprien, Johnathan

S

FIU

2013

Evans, Josh

S

Florida

2013

Gratz, Dwayne

CB

Boston College

2013

Guy, Winston

S

Kentucky

2013

Hayes, Geno

LB

Florida State

2013

Joeckel, Luke

T

Texas A&M

2013

Marks, Sen’Derrick

DT

Auburn

2013

Miller, Roy

DT

Texas

2013

Reynolds, LaRoy

LB

Virginia

2013

Robinson, Denard

RB

Michigan

2013

Sanders, Ace

WR

South Carolina

2013

That breaks down to 1 Guard, 3 Tackles, 1 Tight End, 4 Wide Receivers, 2 Running Backs, 2 Defensive Tackles, 3 Defensive Ends, 3 Linebackers, 4 Cornerbacks, 3 Safeties, 1 Punter and 1 Place Kicker. And 8 from 2012 and 13 from 2013.

That’s a solid start. I won’t pretend to think I have the slightest idea of what decisions Shad Khan, Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley will make regarding player selection, coaching changes, style of offense or defense, or any of the choices real smart football people make.

But I do have a feeling about which direction those decisions will take the team, and that is directly back to, and surpassing, this franchise’s early Glory Days.

Oh, and there will be competition.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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