Looking back at the past 25 years, who would have thought the Jacksonville Jaguars would become such a gritty, proud and iconic staple of Northeast Florida? Win or lose.
The Jags may have their ups and downs, but it’s pretty safe to say that without the franchise, Jacksonville wouldn’t be the grimy and ruthless, yet optimistic and loyal city it is today. The franchise was born in 1994. In honor of the past 25 years, the Jacksonville Jaguars launched Jaguars All-25, a recognition of the top 25 inactive players in franchise history. Here’s a look at five of the players who were honored throughout July, with more to be announced soon. Way to move those chains.
Chris Naeole became the state of Hawaii’s highest draft pick at the time when he was selected 10th overall by the New Orleans Saints. He started all 16 games of his first three seasons in Jacksonville and helped former RB, Fred Taylor, rush over 1,000 on each occasion. Over his 11-year career, Naeole started in 150 of the 154 games played with Jacksonville and New Orleans combined.
24. DE Joel Smeenge (1995-00)
Defensive end, Joel Smeenge, played for the Jaguars from 1995-2000 and accumulated 34 total sacks in his career, making it the second-most number of sacks in franchise history, with Tony Brackens in first. Smeenge made it to the postseason from 1997-1999 and advanced to the AFC Championship in the historical 1999 season.
23. QB David Garrard (2002-10)
David Garrard landed the role of QB from 2002-2010. Out of his 86 games, Garrard starred in 76 of them and completed 1,496 passes for 16,003 yards and 89 TDs, making it the third-most in franchise history. He also had the highest QB career passer rating in Jaguars history with an 85.8%. Garrard went off to play in the Pro Bowl following his 2009 season.
22. DT Gary Walker (1999-2001)
With 46 out of 47 games played and four consecutive games with a sack in his 2001 season, DT Gary Walker joined players Kevin Hardy and Tony Brackens in being one of the first players to post double-digit sacks in a single season in franchise history.
21. K Josh Scobee (2004-14)
During a time when the Jacksonville Jaguars were just down in the dumps, K Josh Scobee took one of the first steps (or first kick) at leading the Jags out of dark times. The eight-time winner of the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award is also the Jags all-time leading scorer with 1,022 points in his career. Scobee appeared in 168 total games, the third-most in franchise history and is one of two kickers from the franchise to make 20 consecutive field goals. He registered over 100 points in three of his 11 seasons and indirectly gave fans free Firehouse Subs after the Firehouse franchise announced it would give away free medium subs if Scobee kicked a field goal over 40 yards.
More players will be published each week in the Recorder. For more information, visit www.jaguars.com/all25.