He was just being honest. After all, he has never played for a losing team before and he’s not about to start now.
Jacksonville selected Fournette with the fourth overall pick of the NFL draft on Thursday night. The former LSU running back said Friday he can help lead the Jaguars out of a decade of futility and into the playoffs.
“Any player wants that for themselves and for the team,” Fournette said, moments after showing off the No. 27 jersey he will be wearing in the fall. “I didn’t mean to stir nothing up, but that’s my goal. My whole life I came from a winning program. LSU, high school, I come from a winning foundation. I think it’s time to get back on that track.
“I think that’s what Jacksonville needs, championships, so I think I’m the guy for the job.”
Fournette played at storied St. Augustine High School in New Orleans and went 33-14 as a four-year starter there from 2010 to ’13. He went 25-12 at LSU from 2014 to ’16, while rushing for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns, including 1,953 yards and 22 TDs as a sophomore.
While he was doing that, the Jaguars were in the midst of the worst slump in franchise history. Since making the playoffs in 2007, the Jaguars haven’t had a winning record and are sitting on a streak of six consecutive seasons of double-digit losses.
The Jaguars are 42-102 since their last winning season and playoff appearance. Only the Cleveland Browns (38-106) have a worse record over that span. That’s why the Jaguars were in position to select Fournette on Thursday night.
Realistically, getting to seven victories in 2017 would be a heck of an accomplishment. Fournette wants more, which is certainly something that second-year cornerback Jalen Ramsey will be excited to hear.
Television cameras caught Ramsey in tears on the sideline after the Jaguars’ 26-19 loss at Detroit last November. That was the Jaguars’ eighth loss and they went on to lose five more games and finish 3-13.
Ramsey had lost just four games in three seasons at Florida State.
“Once you accept losing, that’s when you become a loser,” Ramsey said after the game. “I’m not a loser.”
Fournette believes he can help the Jaguars win again.
“My job is a football player before anything,” Fournette said. “That’s something I’ve been doing as a kid. That’s something I love to do. The individual stuff is going to take care of itself. It’s the team first now. That’s what it’s always been about for me from high school to college until now.”