On Thursday morning, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that Fred Taylor would be inducted into the 'Pride of the Jaguars' at Everbank Field this season, when the Jaguars host the Cincinnati Bengals in their week-four matchup, on September 30th. With this honor, Taylor will join former Jaguars Pro Bowl left tackle Tony Boselli, as well as Wayne and Delores Weaver, who were inducted when the Jaguars hosted the Indianapolis Colts in the final game of the 2011 season.
Fred Taylor was drafted by the Jaguars in 1998 with the ninth overall pick, a selection that was acquired from the Buffalo Bills in a trade that sent quarterback Rob Johnson to western New York. Taylor still holds the record for the longest run from scrimmage in a playoff game, a 90-yard run against the Miami Dolphins in the 1999 AFC Divisional Playoffs, a game where the Jaguars mauled the Miami Dolphins by a score of 62-7. In the later years of his Jaguars career, he would form a running back tandem with Maurice Jones-Drew, a force that was instrumental in taking the Jaguars deep into the playoffs in 2007.
"I fully understand that Fred Taylor is a Jaguars icon, one of the greatest Jaguars players ever. Fred has earned his place in the 'Pride of the Jaguars,' both with his record-setting performances on the field, as well as with his involvement in the Jacksonville community throughout his career," said new team owner Shahid Khan in a statement by the team at Thursday's press conference. As this franchise is fast approaching it's twentieth anniversary, we could begin to see more Jaguars greats inducted into the 'Pride of the Jaguars,' including five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
Over the course of his thirteen-year career, Taylor amassed 11,695 yards on the ground with 74 total touchdowns, along with 2,384 yards receiving. He will enter the 'Pride of the Jaguars' as the leading rusher in franchise history, as well as 15th in NFL history, despite only ever being voted to one Pro Bowl (2007). While he may have spent the last two seasons of his career with the New England Patriots, he'll always be a Jacksonville Jaguar. Undoubtedly, Fred Taylor is arguably the greatest player this franchise has seen since it's inception in 1995.
'Thank You' for the memories, #28, and 'Go Jaguars.'