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Jacksonville Jaguars

On 10th anniversary of last playoff win, where are some famous Jaguars now?

Olivia Stacey

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars went to Heinz Field and beat the Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs on January 5, 2008.

It seems ironic that the Jaguars’ last road playoff win was in Pittsburgh since they’re now preparing to do this again in Sunday’s AFC divisional round game.

A lot has changed for the franchise since their last playoff appearance 10 years ago.

Here’s a look at what a few of the players from the 2007-08 season are up to now:

David Garrard, Quarterback: Garrard provided late-game heroics to pull out the win against the Steelers back in 2008.

With the Steelers ahead 29-28 and 1:56 to go in the 4th quarter of the 2007 NFL Wild Card Playoffs, Garrard, facing 4th and 2 on the Pittsburgh 43-yard line, took off for a 32-yard gain that set up the Jaguars’ game-winning field goal.

Garrard played for the Jaguars for nine seasons and was released before the 2011 season. He spent time on the rosters of the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, but he was plagued by injuries and in 2013, hung up his cleats.

Garrard owns two locations of the franchise, Retro Fitness in the Jacksonville area.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Running back: Jones-Drew was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, 60th overall.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Jones-Drew spent eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and holds the franchise record for single-season rushing yards (1,606 in 2011) and total touchdowns.

In his final season in 2014, he played for the Oakland Raiders.

Following his retirement from football in 2015, Jones-Drew entered broadcasting, serving as a football color analyst for NFL Now and other shows on NFL Network. He also has hosted his own fantasy football show on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Jones-Drew now serves as an analyst on NFL Network shows such as NFL Fantasy Live, NFL Power Rankings and more.

Fred Taylor, Running back:

Taylor was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the ninth overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, and played for the Jaguars and New England Patriots of the NFL.

As a team captain in 2007, Taylor rushed for 1,202 yards on 223 carries, a career-best 5.4 yards-per-carry average, in 15 games started

On February 16, 2009, Taylor was released by the Jaguars after 11 seasons with the team.

Taylor contributes to jaguars.com as an on-camera analyst.

His son, Kelvin Taylor, is an NFL running back who has been signed to several teams, and is currently signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Kelvin followed in his father’s footsteps and played college football at Florida.

Rashean Mathis, Defensive Back

Mathis was a former 2nd round pick of the Jaguars in 2003 NFL Draft, and played 10 seasons in Jacksonville before finishing his career in Detroit.

Mathis had 63 yard interception return for a touchdown off of Ben Roethlisberger to help in the upset 1o years ago.

He eventually signed a one day contract and retired as a Jaguar in April of 2016.

These days, Mathis keeps himself very busy as a 2-handicap golfer, who dreams of playing, even part time, on a professional golf tour somewhere.

Will there be some more famous names to come out of Sunday’s match-up in Pittsburgh? It’s almost time to find out.

Olivia is a multi-faceted sports reporter based in Tampa Bay where she has covered events from the College Football National Championship to the Stanley Cup Final. A native Floridian, she grew up rooting for Tampa’s sports teams, and graduated from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. Olivia continued her education at the University of Florida where she received her broadcast journalism degree.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. crosseyedlemon

    January 13, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Fred Taylor was a solid team guy and leader. Pro Football Reference has tagged him with the nickname “Fragile Fred” which seems absurd considering he played 13 seasons and scored 66 career TDs.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars “cornerstone” player for 2018?

Florida Football Insiders

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The third installment of our “cornerstone” players series takes us to North Florida. And, as the Jaguars get ready to start up 2018, we wondered which impact player would be the one to build around.

You could make arguments for last year’s top free agent acquisition defensive tackle Calais Campbell, or lock down corner Jalen Ramsey, as being that player. However, it’s a player on the offensive side of the ball that appears to be everything that Jacksonville could have hoped for in a running back. That running back is Leonard Fournette.

Fournette, whom the Jags took fourth overall in the draft, is fantastic physical talent at 6’0 230lbs. with a blend of speed and power. And in his debut season, repeatedly showed why you would want to have your offense centered on his ability pound on a defense.

He made a tremendous impact from the beginning of the Jags breakout 2017 with a 100 yard game in the opening win at Houston, and three more 100 yard games in the first nine.

There was lull in Fournette’s productivity due an ankle injury and he also missed a game in Indianapolis due disciplinary reasons, but eventually, Fournette got back on track. He ran for 109 yards and 3 TDs in Jacksonville’s statement win over Seattle in December that clinched the first playoff spot for Jacksonville in 11 seasons.

Then, in the post season Fournette was just okay against the Bills in the AFC Wildcard game with 57 yards on 21 carries. However the next week in Pittsburgh, Fournette set the tone early and often with two first quarter TDs. He finished with 109 yards and 3 rushing TDs, and Jacksonville stunned the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The Jags sledgehammer back scored another early TD and finished with 76 yards rushing as the Patriots rallied to win 24-20 scoring in the final three minutes to knock the Jaguars out of the Superbowl.

Of course there will be great scrutiny on the play of quarterback Blake Bortles, and rightfully so.

However, much of the Jaguars success offensively, the identity of what they want to do, will be centered around Leonard Fournette.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:

 

And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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