Willie Jackson reflects on career with Jaguars and Gators

Willie Jackson reflects on career with Jaguars and Gators

The Jacksonville Jaguars are entering their 25th year as an NFL franchise and with that “XL Primetime” is going down memory lane with the greats from the past 25 seasons of Jaguars football.

Willie Jackson played three seasons in Jacksonville from 1995-1997. In that time he hauled in 103 receptions for 1,281 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jackson joined “XL Primetime” to discuss his time here, starting with what it was like to be a member of the Jaguars inaugural team.

“It was an awesome time,” Jackson told 1010XL. “For me it was great because everyone knew me from Florida and Georgia. So, it was like I was at home. I was very comfortable there.

“It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but in actuality it was that long ago. It was a great time to be a part of it and to get so good so fast and having a chance to almost get to the Super Bowl in the second year; that was great.”

A lot of the conversation coming into the 2019 Jaguars campaign surrounds Nick Foles. With Foles taking over the quarterback position, the question has been asked can he make the Jaguars wide receivers better?

Jackson, a former wide receiver,was asked about that.

“That’s not how it goes because the receivers make the quarterback better,” Jackson said. “Any quarterback can throw a ball, but we have to catch the bad balls, we have to catch the good balls and we have to catch the impossible ones.

“We have to get open and we have to sort through everything, so you have to have a certain skill level. The quarterback doesn’t make the receiver, the receiver makes the quarterback.”

Before playing nine years in the NFL, Jackson starred at the University of Florida. Jackson was asked about his alma mater and his expectations coming into the 2019 season.

“I was just in the office talking with Coach Mullen,” Jackson said. “I think this year we will be able to build, but you can’t say we will win more games than we did last year because winning 10 games is super hard.”

Finally, Jackson recently served as wide receivers coach for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football where he coached under his head coach during his time at Florida Steve Spurrier.

Did that experience of coaching, make Jackson want to pursue it further?

“That was a great opportunity and I enjoyed it, but with coaching you have to be around people that know you that will give you that opportunity,” Jackson said. “I know I can coach on any level, but to break into it is almost harder than playing.

“You have to get lucky to get a gig on the high level, but I always have a bag packed if someone were to call.”

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)