The Jaguars enter their 25th year as an NFL franchise and with that, “XL Primetime” goes down memory lane with some of the greats from the past 25 seasons. Donovin Darius played nine seasons in Jacksonville from 1998-2006, starting 115 games and piling up 470 solo tackles, which ranks him third all-time in franchise history.
Darius joined “XL Primetime” and commented on being mentioned as potentially the first defensive player who may one day enter the Pride of the Jaguars.
“I appreciate that because when I got done after 10 years, I didn’t feel like I had any regrets,” Darius told 1010XL. “I felt like I left it all out there and I was ready for my next chapter.
“People always ask, ‘you know Donovin, what do you think about your name going up on the wall?’ Well, here’s my take on it: I’d rather be in your heart than on the wall because if you put me on the wall you can always take me down, but if I’m in your heart and in your memories, than that will never go away.
Darius was arguably the best safety to ever wear a Jaguar uniform. In 2019, two young safeties, Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson, will have to step into starting roles on the team’s defense.
“I watched Ronnie last year and I thought that he came in and picked it up and brought some fresh energy,” Darius said. “It’s like this, when I got here, one of the first things I did was I sought out a veteran. At that time it was Chris Hudson and Travis Davis.I sought them out because I knew for me to be successful in this league and be successful, I had to shrink down the learning curve.
“So, I think for those guys, whomever they can learn from and whomever can mentor them will be helpful for them in their longevity and their execution on the field.”
Finally, Darius talked about his fondest memory during his nine years as a player here in Jacksonville.
“Back in 1999, when we had a chance to go 14-2 and to the AFC Championship Game,” Darius said. “We got right there, to the brink of the Super Bowl in my second year. That always resonated because in that year we were down a lot of games at halftime, but we found a way to come back and win.
“The things that we accomplished during that year, the brotherhood, everyone was on the same page, that 1999 year always rings long with me.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)