Know Your Jaguars #3 – John Jurkovic
“Know Your Jaguars” is a series of articles that will focus on Jaguar players from the past. Some were All-pros. Some came and went quickly. Some were everything you would want to remember. Some I wish I could forget. Regardless, they were all part of the Jaguars family and are part of their history. If one of my articles introduces you to a player you weren’t familiar with, than my effort was productive.
In the first of a series, we turned our attention to running back Tavian Banks.
Our second was remembering first round bust R. Jay Soward.
For our third in the series, we will focus on John Jurkovic.
John Jurkovic was a defensive tackle the Jags brought in via free agency. It was 1996 and John had just finished five successful years as a fan favorite with the Green Bay Packers. John was known for his rambunctious playing style and his ability to motivate the fan base into deafening cheering. He was found to also be a locker room cut-up and have a great sense of humor.
During his three years as the Jags starting nose guard, he gained a reputation as a furious run stopper and a veteran leader for a young developing defense. He also showed up big in the postseason with 17 tackles in just five games and consistently held up the center of the line of scrimmage so his outstanding linebackers were free to create havoc.
John also at times was the bane of coach Tom Coughlin’s existence. An outspoken player on a team taught to keep quiet, “Jurko” as he was nicknamed, was honest sometimes to a fault. He became a fan favorite in Jacksonville, along with getting a few team fines for being too open with the media.
John became even more popular in Jacksonville when he started having a regular segment on a locally based nationally syndicated morning radio show called “Lex & Terry.” He was loved because of his dirty humor and laidback storytelling. This time on “Lex & Terry” obviously helped John a lot as he has gone on to have a successful career on a ESPN-owned Chicago radio show.
John’s Jaguar career came to an end after the 1998 season. He finished his Jag career with 82 tackles and lots of laughs. It was great whenever a reporter caught Jurko on the field after the game because you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth. There has been a serious shortage of “characters” on the Jacksonville Jaguars. John Jurkovic definitely fit that bill.
This Jaguar history lesson was brought to you by Michael McDonald.
Did you like Jurko like I did?…Tell me on Twitter @Gumbussy