The way I see it, Jaguar history and tradition are starting to form. We've entered our third era of Jaguar football, and it's time for the record keepers to look back and report on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Three Eras of Jaguar football.
The Gold Era
Jimmy Smith - Still the Greatest WR in team history, and still irreplaceable.
This was the Jaguars glory period. We fought for the underdogs, for what was right in the world, and we stood up to big market bullies like Pittsburgh. We were granted extra draft picks, and Tom Coughlin took advantage of this miscalculation by the league offices. The Jags went on to take the NFL by storm. We skyrocketed to the top and there was no limit to our potential.
We were an expansion team knockoff in a hick town that didn’t deserve a franchise. We were a team of cast-offs, Mark Brunell, sitting on the bench in Green Bay. Keenen McCardell and Jimmy Smith came virtually off the street, and are still one of the better tandems in NFL history. Tom Coughlin ruled with an iron fist, and I would characterize any argument that framed him as an evil overload, as perfectly reasonable. Every clock in Jacksonville was set back 5 minutes, and the city loved their team. Times were good.
The Black Era
Reggie Williams in court. First rounders with drug problems were an all too common sight during this era in Jaguar history.
This was the Jaguars' dark period. They did everything wrong and this was an era of rampant spending on low character free agents in Jaguar History. The Jaguars emptied their treasury of all their gold and silver chasing a dream they would never realize.
After making an impact in the playoffs not once, but twice, expectations were high in Jacksonville. A 6-10 season ended Tom Coughlin’s career on the first coast, and new leadership emerged. The entire concept of Jaguar football changed, and nobody noticed. We started signing big name free agents and making rash decisions in the Draft. The downward spiral began… The team limped back and made a strong surge at points, but injuries and age ravaged the team. This era saw it’s end at the unreliable hands of Jerry Porter. He sealed the coffin of James Harris, who was forced to retire at the end of an abysmal season.
The Teal Era
Maurice Jones Drew does what everyone does against the Lions... Celebrate!
The time for change is here. The team is returning to their roots. Gene Smith wants a return to the basics and drafting from the inside out is how you rebuild a team. Signing the next Fred Taylor to a long term contract is a great way to start.
Welcome to the future, ladies and gentlemen. The Jaguars are under new leadership, and the entire culture has shifted. Jerry Porter and Drayton Florence were released, despite the team still owing them guaranteed money. Why? Chemistry is your answer. The culture was shifting and the draft has taken on a new importance. No longer was need to be a factor in the selection of a player. No longer was character on and off the field ignored. Matt Jones is gone, and that sent as load of a message as the release of Jerry Porter did. Cutting a 1st round pick after he has a career year, is more than a statement, it’s a locker room changing move. Gene is taking no prisoners and this team will benefit. Watch for a UDFA or two to make the squad almost certainly. Don’t forget, Gene has control of cutting down the rosters, Del Rio has no roster responsibilities whatsoever. Welcome to the future ladies and gentlemen.