July 5, 2016

Highlighted Year: Jimmy Smith, 1996

Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars

Age: 27
4th season in pro football (3rd active), 2nd with Jaguars
College: Jackson State
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 207

Smith caught a total of 85 passes for 1695 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last two college seasons and was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 1992 NFL draft. He broke his leg in training camp but saw action on special teams during his rookie season, catching no passes, and complications from appendicitis caused him to be de-activated for ’93. Smith was waived in 1994, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was cut during the preseason. He joined the expansion Jaguars in 1995 and returned kickoffs, averaging 22.5 yards and scoring a touchdown, while backing up at wide receiver, where he impressed with his speed and caught 22 passes for 288 yards (13.1 avg.) and scored three TDs. Smith became more of a factor in ‘96 and moved into the starting lineup across from WR Keenan McCardell, creating an effective tandem.

1996 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 83 [14]          
Most receptions, game – 8 (for 131 yds.) at Baltimore 11/24, (for 124 yds.) vs. Seattle 12/15
Yards – 1244 [5, 1st in AFC]
Most yards, game – 162 (on 7 catches) vs. Cincinnati 12/1
Average gain – 15.0 [20]
TDs – 7 [19, tied with seven others]
100-yard receiving games – 4

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 2
Yards – 49
Average per return – 24.5
TDs – 0
Longest return – 29 yards

TDs – 7
Points – 42

Postseason: 3 G
Pass receptions – 11
Most pass receptions, game – 5 at Buffalo, AFC Wild Card playoff
Pass receiving yards – 174
Most pass receiving yards, game – 71 at Denver, AFC Divisional playoff
Average yards per reception – 15.8
Pass Receiving TDs – 2

Jaguars went 9-7 to finish second in the AFC Central and qualified for the postseason as a Wild Card entry while leading the NFL in passing yards (4110). Won AFC Wild Card playoff over Buffalo Bills (30-27) and AFC Divisional playoff over Denver Broncos (30-27). Lost AFC Championship to New England Patriots (20-6).

The breakout 1996 season was the first of seven consecutive in which Smith reached the thousand-yard pass receiving threshold (and nine overall) and six of seven in which his receptions totaled 80 or more. He had 82 catches for 1324 yards (16.1 avg.) in 1997, his first of five consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, and led the NFL with 116 receptions in 1999. McCardell departed after 2001 and a drug suspension decreased his production in 2003 but he bounced back in ’04 with 74 catches for 1172 yards (15.8 avg.) and six TDs while being heavily double-teamed. He retired following a 70-catch, 1023-yard year in 2005. Overall, he caught 862 passes for 12,287 yards (14.3 avg.) and 67 touchdowns, all with Jacksonville, making him the franchise leader in all three categories. In addition to being named to five Pro Bowls, he was a first-team All-AFC selection once and received second-team All-NFL recognition after two seasons.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970