The Jaguars are entering their 25th year as an NFL franchise and with that “XL Primetime” on 1010XL is going down memory lane with some of the greats from the past 25 seasons.
Aaron Beasley spent six seasons in a Jaguar uniform from 1996-2001 after being drafted in the third-round in 1996. In that time, he compiled 278 tackles, 15 interceptions and scored four defensive touchdowns.
Beasley is still considered by many Jaguar fans as one of the best defensive backs to ever play in Jacksonville.
“The funny thing for me about being drafted by Jacksonville was I was heavily recruited by Coach (Tom) Coughlin at Boston College,” Beasley told “XL Primetime” on 1010XL. “He didn’t get me then, but he got me in 1996. I was surprised because I didn’t hear anything back from Jacksonville.
“I remember it being just a young team with a lot of guys from all over the place. I got hurt early, so I was away from it for about the first eight games. I actually got put in the starting lineup my first game back and I remember being nervous because I was going against Carl Pickens, but we just played ball man and it was fun.
“That’s the one thing I remember, we just had fun and we had nothing to lose that season and we just played on adrenaline and fun.”
Beasley was asked about going up against Jaguar wide receivers Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell every day in practice.
“I tell a lot of people when they ask who is the number one wide receiver I played against that one is always Jimmy because I went against him every day and saw him doing it,” Beasley said. “I used to go against those guys in two-a-days and I would sit in my hotel room looking in the mirror just working technique because you could get embarrassed quick.
“One day it would be Keenan with the shake and testing your patience and then the next practice it would be Jimmy with the power and the speed, just blowing by you with one step. So I tried to work extra techniques, but it didn’t work because I was still getting toasted in practice by Jimmy and Keenan.”
Beasley was selected in the same draft as both Kevin Hardy and Tony Brackens. All three former Jaguar defensive standouts are still considered among the best to ever play in Jacksonville.
Beasley was asked about both Hardy and Brackens.
“Tony was just a freak athletically who at practice you would never see it because he never showed it, but when it was game time, he just turned it on man,” Beasley said. “That’s the first time I saw a 6-3, 265-pound guy do a split, so that’s when I knew he was a freak.
“Kevin was a rare type of linebacker because when you get a guy at his size, they’re usually a 3-4 outside linebacker kind of guy, but Kevin played strongside and covered the tight ends well. We were actually All-Americans together, so I knew Kevin before the season.
“The three of us stuck together man. We figured we were going to be the different levels of the defense and we had to try and make the franchise relevant and it was fun. Those first four years we built something special, just by playing together and knowing each other on and off the field. It was definitely a brotherhood.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)