There have been various entities trying to bring an NFL team to the Jacksonville area as early as 1925. The city saw several other professional teams outside of the NFL including the Sharks and Express from the World Football League, and Firebirds from the American Football Association. The closest an NFL team got was when Jacksonville failed to woo Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams to move the team to Florida.
Finally, in 1993, the NFL awarded the 31st and 32nd expansion teams to Carolina and Jacksonville.
Tom Caughlin was named the first coach of the Jaguars in January 1994 in his first stint as anything higher than a position coach. Caughlin became the main decision maker during those early years due to the Jags ownership not wanting to hire a GM.
The Jaguars entered the NFL as one of the first expansion teams in nearly two decades and participated in a draft with the Panthers. The Jags took Steve Beuerlein with the first pick along with 30 other players. Beuerlein was almost immediately benched in favor of newly acquired Packers backup Mark Brunell.
The Jaguars played their first game on September 3 in a 10-3 loss against the Houston Oilers. It wasn’t until Week 4 when they would pick up their first victory in a revenge win over Houston 17-16. They would go on to finish 4-12 and break the previous record of three wins for an expansion team set by the Bengals in 1968. The Jaguars would finish 7-9.
Despite a rough start, the Jaguars would go on to make the playoffs in 1996, 97, 98, and 99 with Mark Brunell under center. The franchise had its best season to date in 1999 after going 14-2 and winning the AFC Central. Jacksonville beat the Dolphins in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in a 62-7 blowout before losing to the Titans in the AFC Title Game.
After that loss, the Jaguars suffered a time of extended struggles with a single winning season since 2007. While they had had some exciting teams, and some of the best defenses in the league, the Jaguars haven’t been able to put it all together in years.
The Franchise hoped to move past this period after bringing in Urban Meyer and drafting QB Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite being one of the biggest names in college football, Meyer’s lack of NFL experience was clear from day one. After a bad start on and off the field, Meyer was let go in December and replaced by Darrell Bevell. The Jaguars would end the year at 3-14 with Bevell going 1-3 in his time as head coach.
During the offseason, Jacksonville hired Doug Pederson as the seventh permanent head coach in the team’s history. With the No. 1 pick for the second year in a row, the Jaguars selected DE Travon Walker from Georgia. With a talented young team, the ceiling is high for the Jaguars over the next few years.
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