In just 2 short years Jaguars fans have come to know General Manager Gene Smith as a guy who marches to the beat of his own drum.
At times he seems to be in perfect rhythm making all the "popular" moves through the draft in free agency leaving fans saying "In Gene We Trust". Other times however, Gene takes an off-beat march making moves that either are not popular or just leave Jaguars fans scratching their heads and then repeating the same mantra "In Gene We Trust".
Gene Smith doesn't seem to mind. He trusts himself and isn't afraid to make tough decisions to help his football team. He trusts his eyes and the play on the field rather than where a player was drafted and how big their paycheck is. He knows his job is to improve this roster and get
"You can outsmart your opponent some of the time, but you can outwork them all of the time." Smith stated when he was hired here and
Again, only 7 days before their season opening game against the Denver Broncos Jacksonville fans find themselves scratching their heads again.
Everyone knew that former first round pick Reggie Nelson and Gerald Alexander were competing for the starting Free Safety position. The general feeling was whoever won the job would be the starter and the other would be released Saturday with final cuts. What they didn’t know however was when the dust finally settled, nether player would be on the roster.
This is why so many have come to admire Gene Smith including myself. Neither Nelson nor Alexander "won" the job. They both played poorly throughout the preseason and instead of one winning the job by default, Gene Smith cut both players.
When asked about this move by Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times Union, Smith replied; "Gerald Alexander & Reggie Nelson started the majority of last year and no one clearly emerged at the safety positions in the preseason so we decided to go a different direction in an attempt to get better results on the back end of our defense."
Veterans Sean Considine and Tyron Brackenridge are thought to be the frontrunners to start opening day at FS opposite SS Anthony Smith but Gene Smith is never done working.
"We will continue to upgrade our roster whenever possible by monitoring the waiver wire & taking advantage of our claim order." Smith replied Saturday when asked if the team will make any more moves.
The beat goes on for Gene Smith. It is too early to tell if this bold move a week before the season opener will pay dividends for the Jaguars and although this undoubtedly leaves some unanswered questions in the Jaguars secondary, I applaud the move.
Gene Smith could have just of easily picked the lesser of two evils even though neither player won the job. He didn’t however. That would not be Gene Smith.