Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith was something special for an expansion team that needed it, helping lead to the Jags glory days. He’s well worth joining the Pride of the Jaguars.
Gene Frenette wrote a touching, sobering, and honoring review of Jimmy Smith’s time with the Jacksonville Jaguars before his induction into the Pride of the Jaguars on Sunday. It’s the kind of tribute to a special talent, and bedrock of the franchise that is needed.
That same franchise hasn’t seen the kind of production or special talent a lot over its time since moving on from Smith, Keenan McCardell, and Tom Coughlin. The “glory days” of the franchise are constantly looked back on like some sort of moment stuck in time, a moment that hasn’t been revisited in well over a decade for the team.
Modern Jags players just haven’t approached the kind of production that Smith brought, hauling in 862 passes for 12287 yards and 67 touchdowns. Even the modern passing era hasn’t set up Jags players to get close to Smith’s production.
That is the kind of play that teams should honor. He’s 21st all-time in receiving yards and 24th all-time in receptions. He’s one of the great ones, not just one of the great Jags.
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As the Jaguars face another lost season in 2016, it’s important to remember how this franchise developed and how it grew. It’s important to not get lost in the recent quagmire under Gus Bradley. It’s important to remember the strong history of this young franchise.
That strong history has few greater examples than Jimmy Smith. It’s a special history that he is a foundation for. He is a foundation, the bedrock, for a franchise in a small market, beset by struggles since its glory days, and continually trying to find itself.
Maybe, just maybe, by honoring Smith on Sunday, the Jags will be able to focus on what made them great to begin with and look toward being great again in the future. It’s a tall task that goes well beyond one sentimental moment for many Jags fans, but Smith could again be a catalyst to spark a renaissance for a team struggling to become relevant.
Modern renaissance or not, Smith deserves it.