Redefining the Jaguars

Sam Greenwood

Think about your favorite plays in Jaguars history. Did you list any pass plays? For too long, the Jaguars have been defined as a boring team a great running backs. With Cecil Shorts III developing into a big-play receiver, that perception is going to change.

Think about your favorite plays in Jaguars history.

No, really. Take a moment and list about five of them.

What did you list? Morten's miss? Fred Taylor's 90-yard run versus Miami? David Garrard's QB draw in the 2007 playoffs? Scobee's 59-yarder versus the Colts?

Did you list any pass plays?

For so long the Jaguars best players were running backs. Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew have been the big-play threats for the Jaguars. We remember Taylor running over Mike Doss in 2003. We remember Taylor and Jones-Drew running wild over the Colts in 2006. How about all the big runs Taylor produced in 2007?

Earlier this year, I put some of these great plays together in this video and was struck by how few of them were passing plays:

In the 90s, Jaguars fans were lucky to have a potent passing attack with Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, producing many big pass plays. However, since Smith's retirement after the 2005 season the big pass plays have been absent from the Jaguars' offensive identity.

Take a minute now and think of the biggest pass plays in Jaguars history.

No, really. Take a moment and list about five of them.

I bet a lot of people listed many of the same plays.

This one is the biggest pass play in Jaguars history and nothing you can say can convince me otherwise:

It was a perfectly executed play. The pass was precise. The catch was impressive with Smith falling to the ground during the reception. It came on 3rd down in the fourth quarter in a big playoff game on the road, securing one of the signature wins of the franchise.

What others did you list?

The Hail Mary, right?

I love that play. I jumped around like crazy and hugged strangers when it happened but let's face it - it was pure luck that Glover Quinn knocked that to Mike Thomas.

Did anybody list the jump ball to Wilford versus the Bills in 2004? Again, that was a little bit of luck.

I listed the overtime game winner to Jimmy Smith versus the Lions in 2004. Smith streaked across the field and no defender had a chance. Smith gave us so many plays in his career, but it's been so long.

Since he retired, the Jaguars have only had great "lucky" pass plays like the ones I listed above, or great runs after the catch, like the pass to Jones-Drew versus Cleveland in 2010 - until last year.

In 2012 Cecil Shorts arrived with some of the best pass receptions we've seen since Smith retired.

Some of you are going to tell me how great a season Reggie Williams had in 2007 when he had 10 TDs, but how many of those TDS do people remember? They remember him shaking his hair around, but those plays won't be remembered as "greats."

Shorts' game-winner against the Colts last year, the should-have-been game winner versus the Vikings, and TDs versus the Texans and Titans are what the Jaguars have been missing for so long. And they came in the worst season in franchise history with the worst quarterbacking in the league.

That's one reason I'm so excited about the future of this team. Shorts is the real deal and he'll only get better. Reports that he looks better than ever this year are encouraging, regardless of the quarterback situation.

For so long, the Jaguars were defined as a great running team who could win a close game. I'm ready for a change in that perception.

Hopefully, in 10 years the list of great Jaguars plays will include more signature pass plays from the Jaguars budding star.

Feel free to list more great Jaguars pass plays I left out of this article in the comments below.

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