Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

1996 Jaguars had eight rookies

Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Nathan Weir from Kaysville, UT:
How many rookies did the Jaguars have when they went to the AFC championship game in 1996? Isn't that about the same as they have this year?

Vic: I like your question because it caused me to do some research I'll probably need to use during the season. In the second season of their existence, the Jaguars had eight rookies on their active roster for the 1996 AFC title game in New England. Three of those rookies -- Kevin Hardy, Tony Brackens and Aaron Beasley -- were starters. Michael Cheever was a backup center who was called on to play a significant role in the previous win in Denver. Reggie Barlow had yet to surface as a punt-returner. Ricky Bell was picked up off the Steelers practice squad and played special teams. Two other rookies, Chris Griffin and Jimmy Herndon, had yet to play in a game. There were also two rookies, Andre Davis and John Fisher, on the injured reserve list. The Jaguars are expected to have at least twice as many rookies on their active roster this year. That should put into perspective what the Jaguars are attempting to accomplish in the way of roster rebuilding this year.

Jesse G. Vigil from Alamosa, CO:
I keep waiting for Mark Brunell to have an MVP season. I feel with his potential it should already have happened. Could this finally be the season?

Vic: This season certainly has the ingredients for Mark Brunell to have an MVP year. He has plenty of weapons around him and, as the Jaguars re-tool their defense, Brunell and the offense will probably have to score a lot of points for the Jaguars to win. Health is always the biggest factor, and Brunell is coming off a season in which he suffered no major injuries.

Dave DeLange from Lockport, NY:
Is Richmond Flowers a legitimate NFL wide receiver prospect, and where do you see him in the Jaguars' plans for the 2001 campaign?

Nobody can know at this point in time if Richmond Flowers will be a factor in the passing game. Initially, I expect him to be a special teams player waiting for his chance to prove he can contribute to the offense.

Travis Taylor from Ormond Beach, FL:
If Jimmy Smith is healthy by the time the season starts, where do you see Sean Dawkins fitting in the offense? Will he become the new third receiver and handle the return special teams jobs, or will those positions still be something Whitted or Soward will compete for?

Vic: Sean Dawkins would not seem to fit into the Jaguars' return plans. He will fit very prominently into the passing game, with or without a healthy Jimmy Smith. Dawkins is a quality pass-catcher who has never had a monster year. He could have a "monster" opportunity with the Jaguars.

Mike Brown from St. Augustine, FL:
Talk, talk and more talk; I think we should wait until camp Coughlin and the preseason to see which rookies are made of iron and which ones are made of cream filling, and then make predictions as to if the Jags can make the playoffs or not. I agree with you 100 percent: The AFC Central is the toughest division in the NFL. I think the Ravens will be just as tough, if not tougher. Cincinnati and Cleveland are looking better. The only good thing is that the Titans are looking a little weaker. The Steelers look a little better, too. Let's wait and see what the rookies are made of. We all know games are won on grass, not on paper. Your opinion?

Vic: I couldn't agree more.

Matt Kochan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What do you feel is the toughest game on the Jaguars' schedule? Do you feel the Jags will have the ability to matchup and possibly win that game?

Vic: The Oct. 28 game at Baltimore would have to rate as the toughest test of the season, for the obvious reason. The Jaguars offense has usually fared well against the Ravens defense, but the Ravens didn't hit their championship stride until November of last season, after the Jaguars had already concluded their two games with the Ravens. This is a very different Ravens team than the one the Jaguars faced early last season. Aside from the game in Baltimore, I believe the Jaguars' toughest games will be those in Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Minnesota.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content