Countdown to Jaguars Football: No. 73 and Who Has Donned it Best
In fewer than 100 days, Jacksonville Jaguars will return ... at least as things stand today.
While there is still some uncertainty surrounding the start of the NFL season, the league office has made it clear that they are planning to kick the season off on Sept. 10 and then have every other team play on Sept. 13.
By going off that timeline, we are now just 73 days from watching the Jaguars take the field against the Indianapolis Colts for the first regular season game of 2020.
In an effort to countdown to the start of the season, we will now be going from 95 through 1 to determine the best players to don the teal, black, and white for the Jaguars at each specific number.
So when considering each player has worn the No. 73 since Jacksonville's first season in 1995, who has been the most impactful? Since the team's inception, here are the players who have worn the jersey number:
- Josh Walker: 2017-18
- Eben Britton: 2009-12
- Jimmy Kennedy: 2008
- Stockar McDougle: 2006-07
- Dave Kadela: 2002
- Jeff Smith: 2000-01
- Brian DeMarco: 1995-98
So with a list containing several notable Jaguars offensive linemen, who stands out the most as the best No, 73? We take a look here.
No. 3: Eben Britton
Jacksonville was clearly high on Eben Britton as he entered the league out of Arizona in 2009, selecting him with the No. 39 overall pick to pair with recent top-10 pick Eugene Monroe at left tackle. The hope was the Jaguars would have their two bookends of the future in the young tackles, though Britton's time with the Jaguars was short due to injuries.
Still, Britton made more contributions to Jacksonville than most other players on this list. In four seasons in Jacksonville, Britton appeared in 37 games, starting 30. Half of those starts came at right tackle as a rookie, and Britton showed legitimate promise on the right side until injuries derailed his development.
No. 2: Jeff Smith
Despite spending just two years in Jacksonville, Jeff Smith earns this spot thanks to his contributions following the departure of Dave Widell, the franchise's first center. Smith didn't have the longevity of Widell, but he still offered value in his own right along the interior of the offensive line.
In two seasons with the Jaguars, Smith started 28 games (appearing in 30), including 16 games in 2001. Jacksonville was Smith's first extended opportunity as a starter and, for the most part, he ran with it and took ample advantage. He won't be known as one of the great linemen in team history, but his impact earns him the second spot on this list.
No. 1: Brian DeMarco
The longest-tenured player on this list, Brian DeMarco is also one of the most versatile linemen in team history after starting games at multiple spots along the line. DeMarco, like Smith, was far from a top-flight player, but he was an important piece to the team's depth chart during the first four seasons in the team's history.
In four seasons in Jacksonville, DeMarco appeared in 56 games, starting 39. He also started two games in the postseason in 1998, giving him regular season and playoff experience. DeMarco will also be remembered as one of the first-ever Jaguars starters after he started all 16 games in the team's inaugural season in 1995.