Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Flash Points: Jaguars' decisive moment
By Paul Kuharsky
What key event significantly changed the fortunes of the Jaguars -- for better or worse? Give us your take and we’ll give you our definitive moment on May 20.
Did America consider Jacksonville a football town? A major league town?
The NFL didn’t leave much of a choice when it selected the North Florida city for an expansion franchise. And while the birth of the Jaguars may not neatly fit the concept of changing their fortunes, they wouldn’t have had any fortunes to be changed without the improbable selection. Combine it with the short history of the organization and it had to be here.
Only two years after its first on the field, the team advanced to the AFC Championship Game while its expansion partners, the Carolina Panthers, made a similar charge in the NFC. It was an exceptionally quick run to great heights that galvanized a market and ensured future expansion teams couldn’t get as good as quickly.
Two other moments that we thought qualified as contenders were less happy ones.
Supremely gifted left tackles are supposed to be long-term fixtures for franchises. But the Jaguars got unlucky with theirs. Drafted with the team’s first-ever pick in 1995, Tony Boselli may have been the best of his generation. But a shoulder injury in 2001 meant the team left him exposed to the Houston Texans in 2002 and he was chosen in the expansion draft, as Houston took a chance and Jacksonville cleared cap room.
While the team’s first coach, Tom Coughlin, may have had too much power, removing him completely after the 2002 season may have been a mistake. Coughlin rebounded to coach the New York Giants to a Super Bowl win, while the Jaguars have not returned to the AFC title game, in which they twice played under Coughlin.
You’re invited to do better than I’ve done here.
If you vote Other, give us your suggestion in the comments area below.