The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its 25 semi-finalists for next year’s induction and two of the most prominent Jacksonville Jaguars have their names on the list. One, has been there several times and the other is there for the first time.
The original first-ever Jaguar draft pick, left tackle Tony Boselli, is once again among the semi-finalists for the 2020 class. Boselli has made the semi-finals for the last four years and for the last three years he made the finalist room before not being selected.
Boselli said in an interview last February shortly after learning he did not get in,
“It’s disappointing. It’s been three years in a row, now,” Boselli chuckled. “I thought this was the last time…. All of those guys (the five modern ones selected Saturday) are great players. You can make an argument for every one of them….You sit back and try to be thankful to be part of the process.”
Last year’s class included first ballot members Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey.
We have written previously that will Boselli should have gotten the nod over the course of the last couple of years and definitely should still be in now, due to his contemporaries at his position getting in and he’s every bit as qualified as they were.
Another semi-finalist named Wednesday is Fred Taylor. He still remains the premier running back in Jaguars history with over 11,000 yards rushing and 62 TDs in his 11 seasons in North Florida. It is the first time that Taylor (above) is on the semis list, even though he has been eligible the last few years.
No Jaguar has ever made the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also on the list of 25 semi-finalists, is former Buccaneers and Broncos safety/now 49ers general manager, John Lynch. Lynch has repeatedly been on the semi-final list and has even made it as a finalist on multiple occasions without getting the final necessary votes.
Perhaps, now will be his time as a recent contemporary of his, Brian Dawkins was also put in from the safety position two years ago. The Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is a semifinalist in his first year of eligibility and that may complicate things for Lynch, too.
Lynch’s teammates from the 2002 Super Bowl Buccaneers, Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice, are both also semi-finalists, as well. Barber is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 interceptions and 25 or more sacks. He is regarded as the best corner in Bucs history.
Rice was a menacing pass-rusher first for the Arizona Cardinals and then the Buccaneers tallying 69.5 sacks in six seasons in Tampa Bay. It is the first time that he is a semifinalist.
The Buccaneers have two former players, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and linebacker Derrick Brooks, in the Hall of Fame, as well as former coach Tony Dungy.
Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas is also a semi-finalist for the second straight year. His former Miami teammate, defensive end Jason Taylor, was just inducted in 2017.
The 25 semi-finalists will be pared down to 10 finalists in January, and then, the Hall of Fame voters will debate them on the Saturday before the Super Bowl and the five modern inductees will be announced for next summer in Canton, Ohio.
Jags coach Marrone acknowledged Wednesday he’s in jeopardy
As the Jaguars 2019 season has spiraled downward, their head coach acknowledged Wednesday that there are likely changes coming in North Florida.
Head Coach Doug Marrone meets the media prior to today's practice. https://t.co/Ks19PcB0te
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 11, 2019
“We’re all fighting for our jobs. When you look at it from that standpoint, each person has to make their own decision on how they handle those things….It’s a constant microscope in this league, but I think it gets magnified when you are not winning football games,” Marrone said plainly.
It’s no secret that the Jaguars are plummeting. Sunday they were embarrassed again at home, this time by the L.A. Chargers 45 – 10. That was the fifth consecutive decisive loss (by at least 17 points) for a team that was once 4 – 4 and in the conversation are the AFC Wildcard picture.
Yes, there are injuries including the team losing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and recently linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending IR. The same on offense where WR Marqise Lee never got healthy and made contributions this year. He, too is back on injured reserve.
Further, the team also had to deal with the constant off field distraction and then decided to trade away arguably their best player, defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. Granted, Ramsey wanted out and was trying not to play while the trade was being consummated. Still, this missed him on the field and it was an issue.
Then, there’s the mess on offense, where the Jags offensive line is in shambles and Marrone had to bench high-priced free agent quarterback Nick Foles before last week’s game. That’s because of his ineffective play and lack of mobility to play behind their poor line.
Rookie Gardner Minshew, who had won four games earlier this year, didn’t do much with only 162 yards in the air and a late third-quarter touchdown that only cut the lead to 31 – 10 in the loss Sunday.
Further, running back Leonard Fournette has now been neutralized by the lack of good line play and the inability to get the passing game going. Fournette went from having a good start to the season that included three 100-yard or more games out of four in late September and October, to having five of his last six games where he has run for 50 yards or less.
So, everywhere you look, the Jags are struggling and losing, and owner Shad Khan is expected to make wholesale changes at the end of the year.
But for now, Jacksonville must go out to Oakland this week and try not to be further embarrassed there.
Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR
The bad news on the injury front for the Jaguars continued on Thursday, when they placed star linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve.
Source: #Jaguars LB Myles Jack (knee) is going on Injured Reserve today. A hit to the Jacksonville defense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2019
Jack missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury that was believed to be a sprain suffered in the loss to the Colts two weeks ago. However, the move to IR indicates it may be more serious.
The Jaguars season has unraveled over the course of the last month with injuries to their defense and the team trading away perennial Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Jacksonville had already put DT Marcel Dareus on IR, All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been trying to battle through a bad back and DB Tony Harrison has still not been cleared with a concussion.
Coach Doug Marrone has expressed the last two weeks that it has been a struggle for his defense with all of the injuries mounting late in the year.
As for Jack, he had settled in the middle linebacker roll after Telvin Smith abruptly retired in May.
Jack has been solid, but not spectacular, in the middle of the defense registering 7 or more tackles in five games this season. However he hasn’t forced a fumble, has only one interception and half of a sack. Jack also has just three tackles-for-loss at a position that often dictates much more output than that.
The former second-round pick out of UCLA had question marks about his knee coming out of college, when the Jaguars took him in the 2016 draft. However, he has answered critics on his durability by being active for all 59 games of his career up until last week.
Jacksonville will use veteran Donald Payne at middle linebacker for now. Payne played significantly last week against the Buccaneers and has been on and off of Jacksonville roster this season.