JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The suggestions poured in via social media. Some good, some bad and some, frankly, that were just awful.
Eventually, the list was narrowed, and while there’s still some discussion to be had over the next few days, the Jacksonville Jaguars' secondary may finally announce its nickname next week. The leader in the clubhouse so far?
“We’ve seen some good ones,” safety Tashaun Gipson said. “I do really, really, really, really like that name, though. It’s super cool. It’s a catchy name. ...
“You know, you’ve got to be original [but] at the same time it’s got to be catchy [like] No Fly Zone, the Legion of Boom. That name is just fitting and formal for us, so we like it. But again, we’re narrowing it down and hopefully by the end of this we sink it in stone, and then we’re going to let it roll.”
The Jaguars’ secondary -- Gipson, safety Barry Church, and cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Aaron Colvin -- has been the team’s strength through the first five games. They’ve picked off a league-high 10 passes and also lead the league in opponents' passer rating (56.9). Bouye and Ramsey are Pro Football Focus’ two top-rated cornerbacks.
Four of the Jaguars’ single-game-record five interceptions against Pittsburgh last Sunday were by defensive backs. Gipson had two, and Ramsey and Church each had one. Church took his back 51 yards for a touchdown, the first interception return for a touchdown in his career.
It’s the best secondary in the league, so it’s natural the group wanted a nickname. Denver has the No Fly Zone, and Seattle the Legion of Boom, two pretty darn good nicknames. The Jaguars decided to get some help by asking its 512,000 Twitter followers to submit nicknames.
Steal Team 6 (Gipson really liked it, but Church didn’t. “I don’t know if I’m feeling that one,” he said.)
Pick-fil-A (because nobody’s open on Sundays)
Teal Curtain (playing off the Steel Curtain)
ThunderCats (that was an animated series in the mid-to-late 1980s)
Picksonville (this one shouldn’t need explaining)
Intercepticons (a Transformers reference)
Alcatraz (because everyone’s on lockdown)
Kitty Claw Clampdown (hopefully they weren’t serious with this)
Church said it was fun to read some of the suggestions and go through them with his teammates.
“It would definitely be kind of cool to have one,” he said. “You can’t be, like, self-proclaimed. A nickname has to be given, so we’re looking at them right now. ... I like Furious Five. Jackson 5, we were just talking about that today. Jackson 5 is a pretty good deal.”
Gipson said the group didn’t seriously consider having a nickname until last weekend after the 30-9 rout of the Steelers.
“We took the picture after London, secondary playing great, and people are like, 'We need to give these guys a nickname,'” Gipson said. “The momentum just kept on building, and after the Pittsburgh game it was like, ‘Y’all deserve a nickname.’ Let’s just do it.”
Gipson and Church are having fun with the idea, but Bouye was more reserved when approached about the potential nickname.
“If that gives us the recognition we deserve, then yeah, but we’re not focused on that,” Bouye said. “We’re just focused on letting our work do the talking, really. Just keep making plays.
“It’s not just the DBs [who have played well]. It’s the linebackers, the D-line, the whole team. We’re just trying to come out there and just feed off each other’s energy and just keep making plays so we can make a run at this division and win the division and get in the playoffs and go from there.”
While it’s not official that the group is going with Jackson 5, there is one person who may have more sway over the others when it comes to a final decision.
“I was talking about it with my mother,” Gipson said. “She’s actually one of the participants who actually posts and tried to give out nicknames. She definitely has been involved with it, too.
“She does like Jackson 5 the best.”