Telvin Smith was asked Tuesday if he appreciates Marrone’s approach.

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The thought here is both Smith and Ngakoue will get their due in the future. Smith, in his fourth season, is in a tricky position. As a 4-3 outside linebacker, Smith undoubtedly was hurt because Pro Bowl voting at the position favors 3-4 outside linebackers who rush the passer. Fans often vote sacks over all else, and notoriety at the position often goes to sacks leader rather than complete players – and there are few if any more complete 4-3 outside backers than Smith.

Smith, who missed two games with a concussion this season, missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury after playing the entire game against the Bills. Smith has been in the concussion protocol since sustaining the injury two weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals. He missed last week’s victory over the Colts, marking the first time this season a Jaguars defensive players missed a game because of an injury.

That was the same day Coughlin took over in his new position. While Coughlin and Marrone have brought a tone of toughness and urgency to the organization, Smith said the experiences of the last the three seasons also have helped shape the team’s young leaders.

The hope here is that Ngakoue and Smith join that group, and here’s another hope for these guys – that maybe they get a future Pro Bowl nod to make up for this season. It often happens that a veteran makes a Pro Bowl or two at the end of their careers on reputation when they didn’t quite deserve it. Sometimes, that offsets a Pro Bowl or two they didn’t make early in their careers when their reputations didn’t yet quite match their level of plays.

Here’s hoping that eventually happens for Smith and Ngakoue. Smith several weeks ago said Posluszny very much inspired the team during its postseason run. Smith made clear on Monday that his now former teammate will inspire the next one, too.

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The news meant the end of a career for one of the best defensive players in Jaguars history. For Smith and Jack, it meant the end of playing with a teammate they said helped them immeasurably professionally and personally.

Smith was asked if it bothered him that Steelers players may already be thinking of a potential rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game between the Steelers and New England Patriots.

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Posluszny adapted to a smaller role, starting at middle linebacker but coming off the field in favor of Jack and Smith in nickel situations. Like the entire Jaguars defense, this area remained remarkably healthy in 2017; Smith’s two games missed with a concussion in early December marked the only games missed by a Jaguars defensive starter this past season.

Smith actually showed playmaking ability from the start of his rookie season – and as far back as the offseason and training camp it was evident he had the speed and athleticism to play in the NFL Jaguars jerseys. Coaches quickly moved him into the No. 1 nickel linebacker role, and he was on the field throughout his rookie season in passing situations, starting 10 of the last 12 games.

Fowler’s better on the defensive line than you think; the issue for the Jaguars with him moving forward won’t be his position but whether it will make financial sense to keep him. As far as his position … if the Jaguars were to move Fowler to linebacker, the more logical position would be strong-side backer; the Jaguars already have a front-line weak-side linebacker, Telvin Smith. But while moving Fowler remains a popular idea among fans, I doubt it will happen. He had 10 sacks at defensive end last season. I also get asked a lot about playing Fowler at strong-side backer on first down and having him play end in nickel situations when the strong-side backer leaves the field.


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