Sam's Commentary

December 11, 2016 Commentary Archive

Will Jimmy Make It To The Hall?

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted December 11, 2016 ===========================================================================

As part of his journey to become a member of the Pride of the Jaguars, Jimmy Smith has seen a little bit of everything. From a draft bust to the rejected pile of NFL wide receivers, Smith rose to become one of the elite players in the game, only to fall from grace again as a jailed drug addict, now and forever recovering.

"Well, that journey has been tough and it's not over yet," Smith said on the day he was inducted into the Pride. "A friend was talking to me and he mentioned that I'm an all-pro at getting back up and that's the message that I want to spread throughout - to every kid, every Jacksonville fan, every adult, everyone. Be an all-pro at getting back up, because you're going to get knocked down."

While among the elite in his career, including five Pro Bowl appearances, does Smith deserve a place in the Hall of Fame among the all-time greats?

A look at his statistics has him 21st in receiving yards, 46th in touchdowns and 24th in receptions. Smith finished his career with 862 catches for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns in 11 seasons.

Impressive, and the dominant receiver statistically in the middle of his career, but the Hall hasn't been kind to receivers in the modern era. Fellow selector Vito Stellino has pointed out repeatedly that since the 1978 rule change allowing receivers to run free, numbers have been inflated year after year. So it's not the numbers that impress the selectors (a committee I've been on since 1994) but rather the impact they had in their era.

It doesn't help Jimmy that he played in Jacksonville. The exposure that major market teams get week after week plus the Jaguars lack of an appearance in the Super Bowl are hard obstacles to overcome. The playoff run in 1996 and the dominance in the regular season in 1999 gave Smith a recognizable name in the league but the lack of exposure to the major media markets puts him a half step behind players from just about anywhere else.

As part of the process, the Hall sends selectors a list of the 100 or so eligible players, coaches and contributors and we're asked to pare that number down to twenty-five. Those who make that cut are called "semi-finalists." In six years of eligibility, Jimmy has never made it as a semi-finalist. (Tony Boselli has made it the last two years.) From there we're asked to cut the list to 15, and those 15 are discussed as finalists the day before the Super Bowl. Only 5 can be selected along with contributor and senior candidates. (As a footnote, about 90% of the players who become finalists are eventually inducted into the Hall.)

So it's a tough road for anybody to get into the Hall. There's also a pretty big backlog of receivers waiting for Hall induction. And it's no guarantee that any will get in. Tim Brown, Chris Carter and Andre Reed sat on the ballot for years without induction. Lynn Swann and John Stallworth cancelled each other out year after year. Terrell Owens has monster numbers but is a controversial candidate. Randy Moss and others have moved to the top of the statistical list but haven't even been discussed as finalists.

"It'll be tough," I told Jimmy and his long time friend and teammate Keenan McCardell when they asked me about his chances for the Hall. "A spot in the Pride of the Jaguars is a great honor and brings you that sense of immortality."

After an emotional induction ceremony at halftime of the Jaguars game against Minnesota, Smith said getting into the Pride is a big deal to him.

"Mainly because this city, the owner Shad Khan, these fans, my teammates all recognize what I've done in my career. I think it starts here, before we go to the Hall of Fame. So that's why this is even more important than a Hall of Fame nomination or anything like that."


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

e-mail Sam


Sam's Commentary

Black Creek Outfitters

ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

12-07-2016 - Rogers At Bolles: "This One Is Special"
12-06-2016 - Bradley: "It's Disheartening"
12-05-2016 - At The Bottom, Jaguars Remain Committed
12-04-2016 - Coughlin To Jaguars Surfaces Again
11-29-2016 - Despite Losses, Bradley Soldiers On
11-28-2016 - Critical Times, Small Mistakes, Jaguars Lose
11-22-2016 - Jaguars: Tell The Truth Monday
11-20-2016 - In A Game Of Inches, The Jaguars Are A Foot Behind
11-15-2016 - Jaguars Stick With Bortles
11-13-2016 - Jaguars Lose: Same Song, Wrong Notes
11-12-2016 - Jaguars Vs. Texans: 4 To Watch 4
11-11-2016 - Jags' OC Hackett "Excited" About Offense
11-09-2016 - Sports And Politics: Not So Strange Bedfellows
11-08-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Character In Tact
11-07-2016 - Jaguars Beat Jaguars In KC
11-03-2016 - Babby's Idea Screams "Minor League"
11-02-2016 - Cryotherapy Jax: Recovery Is The Key To Peak Performance
10-31-2016 - Bradley, Bortles Say Hackett Brings "New Vision"
10-29-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Lacked Focus
10-28-2016 - Khan Says Bradley's Staying
10-28-2016 - Time's Up: Jaguars Should Move On
10-25-2016 - "Unacceptable" According To Bradley. Is It Really?
10-24-2016 - Jaguars, Bradley Wobbling On The Tracks
10-23-2016 - Jaguars Embarrassed By Raiders, 33-16
10-18-2016 - Jaguars Run Game Needs Help
10-17-2016 - Jaguars Win, Need Work
10-15-2016 - Jaguars Bye Week Approach Slightly Different
10-11-2016 - Bradley: "It feels different out there"
10-10-2016 - Historic Ponte Vedra Inn And Club Survives Matthew
10-10-2016 - PV Residents Say Beach Is Resilient
10-10-2016 - Sawgrass CC: No Issues
10-04-2016 - Jaguars: 2 Weeks To Clean Things Up
10-02-2016 - Jaguars Beat Colts
10-01-2016 - Plenty Of Jaguars Fans In London
10-01-2016 - Jaguars In London: Routine Is Key
10-01-2016 - Jaguars/Colts: 4 To Watch 4
09-29-2016 - Bortles: "Stupid things, easily correctable"
09-29-2016 - Jaguars Say London Is More Like A Home Game
09-28-2016 - Palmer's Local Friends: "You'd have loved him even if he wasn't a golfer"
09-28-2016 - Bradley Knows Now Is The Time
09-26-2016 - Arnold Palmer: No One Like Him
09-26-2016 - Jaguars Squander Chances, Lose To Ravens
09-24-2016 - Jaguars/Ravens: 4 To Watch 4
09-20-2016 - Bradley, Jaguars At A Crossroads
09-18-2016 - Jaguars vs. SD: Nothing To Like
09-18-2016 - Jaguars/San Diego: 4 To Watch 4
09-16-2016 - Graeme Mcdowell Owns Restaurants, Wants To Play Golf
09-12-2016 - After Further Review: I Feel A Little Better Because They Don't
09-11-2016 - Exciting, Encouraged: Jaguars Still 0-1
09-10-2016 - Jaguars: 4 To Watch 4
09-10-2016 - Will Gus Bradley's Coaching Experiment Work?
09-08-2016 - Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think
09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
07-15-2016 - Cryotherapy: The latest in "Sam's Big Comeback"
06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
06-11-2016 - Marks Returns Optimistic
06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
05-25-2016 - Hale Irwin at WGV: Winners have the heart of a champion"
05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
05-20-2016 - Ramsey Hurt: Jaguars Snake Bit?
05-15-2016 - Day Wins THE PLAYERS 2016
05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
04-20-2016 - Mcelwain: Gators Much Farther Along
04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
02-08-2016 - Hall of Fame Voting: A Process
02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

All content at this site is subject to
© Copyright by Sam Kouvaris / All Rights Reserved
Designed and Created by Charlie Logan
A ® Ruffsounds Production
Website Hosting by KTEK International Inc.