The Jacksonville Jaguars have nearly always had a good rotation of defensive lineman. Whether it’s because they had Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio as their two longest-tenured coaches — coaches who believe in an abundance of strong, physical linemen — or something else, the franchise’s deepest position over the course of its history might be defensive linemen.
And growing up as a Jaguars fan in Jacksonville, there’s always one personality I’ll never be able to forget: John Jurkovic.
Signed away from the Green Bay Packers before that magical 1996 season, Jurkovic was a defensive tackle through and through. He stopped the run, he plugged gaps, he was mudder of a lineman who was beloved by fans in the early days of the Jaguars due to his gregarious attitude and passion during play. Jurkovic just seemed like that guy in the bar who said he could hang with NFL players and then one day you look up and he’s actually kind of doing it.
One of my favorite Jurkovic memories is when the defense needed a breather late in a game and he feigned injury. I don’t remember the opponent, but I do remember it being painfully obvious to everyone that he wasn’t really injured and that he was just trying to buy time for his team.