Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith: 'We should be further than where we are'

Ruben Ruiz
June 1, 2017

The Jacksonville Jaguars continued Week 2 of organized team activities Tuesday, and fourth-year linebacker Telvin Smith was unhappy with the team's performance. "It's not when we go into training camp and we say, 'OK, now we can turn it on.' We're going to decide the mentality of this team right now". Before that happens, though, Smith says there's "still a culture here that has to be broken".

"I just think as a team, we should be further than we are".

Smith is stressed that so many defensive players - safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and nickel back Aaron Colvin - are unavailable, which prevents the defense from creating cohesion.

"Just our mentality", he said.

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Smith said he spoke to the defense shortly after a practice that lasted approximately an hour and 45 minutes.

"I'm a little heated today", Smith said as he used a towel to wipe his forehead. That's a far cry from his college years at Florida State, where he won 14 games and a national championship as a senior in 2013. As a fifth-round pick by the Jaguars in 2014 -a draft that included quarterback Blake Bortles, wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson and center Brandon Linder - Smith's on-field persona and attitude made him an instant leader.

Head Coach Doug Marrone on Friday had expressed a similar feeling, telling media following the first week of OTAs that the Jaguars "have a long way to go". It's a message that echoes Smith's. Right now is when we're making the team. "I feel like it doesn't really put that much pressure on us, it just like helps us out and really energizes us". Now's the time to do that, so it's nice to have a player point out and call out the things some fans have been screaming about for a while. As players, we've got to do our part in the sense of: "it's not scheme, it's none of that, it's 'what do we want, what's our mentality going to be?'" It's none of that. Everyone always wants to talk about bringing in veteran leadership, etc., but the reality is it comes from the top and the culture of the Jaguars is something we talked about quite a bit with former head coach Gus Bradley.

"We have to go out there and play as hard as we can, especially in practice because it's going to transfer on the field".

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