Pashos Standing Tall

Jaguars right tackle Tony Pashos has not only become a pillar of the Jaguars offensive line, but also a pillar of the Jacksonville community. In a time in which much of the NFL news is centered on players arrests and other transgressions, what the Jaguars right tackle has been doing is certainly a breath of fresh air.

Tony Pashos sponsors an outreach program called "Pashos' Pals." Pashos' Pals allows children to go different places around the Jacksonville community with none other than Tony Pashos, and it introduces the kids to experiences that they likely wouldn't have without the Jaguars role model.

"I want to get those kids under my wing and instill them with things that they don't normally see," Pashos told Sirius NFL Radio during a recent interview.

Among the interaction that Tony has with these youngsters include going to museums, reading, and even a trip to Jaguars mini-camps a little over a month ago.

"I want them to see the community," said Pashos. "I'm a history buff, so I took them to museums, but I didn't want to do too much of that stuff and bore them."

When asked what results he expects to have from his program, Tony responded—

"It brings some happiness, self-esteem, self-worth to the kids, I want them to be model citizens."

If these children grow up to be like their role model, Tony Pashos, they will indeed be model citizens. Anyone who routinely attends Jaguars practices can easily see that Pashos is one of the hardest workers the team has ever had, as he is routinely one of the first on the practice field, and one of the last to leave.

That hard work helped Pashos overcome a slow start a year ago, which is indicative of his entire career. Pashos was not a can't miss draft prospect coming out of the University of Illinois, as referenced by him lasting all the way until the sixth round before being selected by the Baltimore Ravens. Tony had to wait for 172 players to be selected in front of him in the spring of 2003, and then he spent his entire rookie season on the injured reserve list with a hand injury. Pashos was allocated to NFL Europe after his rookie season, and he didn't win a starting job until midway through 2005 as he played opposite the great Jonathan Ogden.

After the 2006 season, the Ravens had some salary cap issues and decided not to retain Pashos. Tony cashed in with an eight-figure signing bonus from Wayne Weaver and the Jaguars organization.

"We think [Pashos] is an ascending player," said Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio. "We think he's stepping into the prime of his pro career. His size allows him to be firm in the pocket. He's not going to be bull-rushed back to the quarterback."

After a shaky preseason and beginning of the year, Pashos wasn't noticed often by onlookers, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman. Tony helped pave the way for a record-setting offensive season for the Jaguars, and he secured the right side of the Jaguars line. In the community and on the football field, Pashos has been largely worth the Jaguars investment.

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