JACKSONVILLE – Fred Taylor always believed it should happen.
Further, Taylor believed it would happen.
So, when the longtime Jaguars running back learned that his former teammate and fellow Pride of the Jaguars member Tony Boselli had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his reaction was perhaps as might be expected.
"Great, and it's about time," Taylor said. "I was very excited for him."
Taylor, a teammate of Boselli's from 1998-2001, recently joined senior writer John Oehser for one of a series of podcasts to discuss Boselli – who in August will become the first Jaguars player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Taylor discussed multiple topics, including memories from when the two played together on some of the great teams in franchise history.
"When I would get ready to run the ball, we'd break the huddle and he would whisper, 'Freddy, I got you,''' Taylor recalled.
Taylor also discussed just what it meant for his former teammate to be enshrined.
"When you look back on Tony's career, he stands out as one of the best to ever play the game," Taylor said. "The biggest question was the amount of time he played. That was the only thing that separated Tony from being a first-ballot guy. These are once-in-a-lifetime players.
"To have put in the work with Tony, to be able to see Tony lead how he led guys – you knew he was a Hall-of-Fame talent."
Taylor, too, discussed the bond the two shared as Hall-of-Fame-level talents who have had to wait longer than some peers for immortality. Boselli, a three-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro Selection in a career that spanned from 1995-2001, made the Hall in his 16th year of eligibility – his sixth year as a finalist. Taylor has been a Hall semifinalist the last three years.
"My frustrations I had wondering if they were going to put me in someday, they ran as deep for Tony because I know he's deserving of the nod to go to Canton," Taylor said. "Our frustrations travel along the same path. It's just special. I have to work not to get overly emotional when I think and talk about (Boselli being enshrined).
"We put in a lot of work. Not everyone sees what goes on behind the scenes. They see what happens on Sunday. We see the work. We see what goes into play. We know that Bo protected [quarterback] Mark [Brunell]. We knew what he did in the run game.
"We knew what he brought to the table to the Jaguars organization as a whole. He did it the right way."
For the entire podcast with Fred speaking about Boselli, click here.
To view the previous article in the series with Leon Searcy, click here.