Jimmy Smith inducted into Pride of the Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the history of the Jaguars franchise, there may not be a more popular player than Jimmy Smith. After a career that included five Pro Bowls, Smith retired as the best receiver in team history. On Sunday he was rewarded by becoming the sixth member of the Pride of the Jaguars.

Although the Jaguars have struggled recently, the team had its most successful stretch from 1996-99. Offensive tackle Tony Boselli, running back Fred Taylor and quarterback Mark Brunell were all major contributors as the Jaguars reached the playoffs four straight seasons during that stretch. Smith joins that trio, along with former owners Wayne and Delores Weaver in the Pride of the Jaguars.

PHOTOS: Jimmy Smith Pride of the Jaguars induction ceremony

“There is no question that Jimmy Smith was one of the best players to ever wear a Jaguars uniform,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. “His contributions in the early years were critical to the success the Jaguars enjoyed during that time. The fact that most of his records have stood for 10 years without being surpassed underscores what a great player he was.”

During 11 seasons in Jacksonville, Smith set team marks that stand to this day. He had 862 catches for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns.

“I was never thinking of being in the Pride or making the Hall of Fame,” said Smith, whose name was unveiled on the west side of the stadium during the halftime ceremony against the Minnesota Vikings. “I just wanted to come to work and play football. It’s a privilege for us to play football in the NFL and it was a blessing for me. I wanted to respect the game and I played it with everything that I had.”