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Hot Off the Presses : Peterson is Officially a Back-up...

“Daryl Smith is our starting middle linebacker,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said in a telephone conversation after Friday’s practice, as the Jaguars got ready for the undefeated Tennessee Titans."

There you have it, Smith has usurped the role from Mike and it sure seems like barring any unfortunate injuries, Mike won't play LB ever again for the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's what happens when you mouth off to the media and you're a non-essential player, you get the bench. We all saw this coming... We knew after Wednesday's tirade it was only a matter of time, but now, less than 48 hours after contacting the media to complain, Mike has lost his job to Daryl for the remainder of the season.

Del Rio went on to say that there wouldn’t be an opportunity for Peterson to meet with him in hopes of reclaiming his position in the starting 11.

“There will be no meetings,” Del Rio said. “He has to embrace his new role on the team.”

Apparently, Mike's new role will include some special teams plays. That'll be his only chance to make an impact and show another team he's worth his salt... and their money. Del Rio has made a statement with this maneuver, no one is safe... If you can't play up to the level expected, you're done. 

Poor Mike. What a complete meltdown. He'll likely struggle to get any kind of "big" payday after the season is over because he'll now be viewed as both an aging player who's lost a step, and a malcontent. I must admit though, I'm a little psyched to see Mike on special teams. The guy can still bring the wood and is a solid hitter, although I'm not sure he has the speed necessary to make a huge impact on special teams. That'll be his only opportunity to see the field though, so expect him to try and play lights-out when he gets his opportunities.
He practiced with the special team units on Thursday and Friday (the day after calling the media... coincidence?), making his demotion (and fall from grace) final. 

Del Rio made it very clear that Mike has no hope of getting his starting spot back, and he had better just embrace his role. Let this be a lesson (and it will be) to all other players in the Jaguars' locker-room, DEL RIO IS KING, and he won't tolerate insubordination is his court. The Titans better watch out because I expect this team to bring it hard this week, especially Clint Ingram, who now gains a starting spot on the team. I love Ingram and will be watching him closely in this week's match-up. He's quick, a hard hitter and in my opinion, a much better coverage LB than Peterson ever was (although some may disagree with me on that). Durant will still be in over Ingram in Nickel situations, but it is good to see a solid player such as Ingram finally earn his way onto the field. I've loved the guy since we picked him up in the third round in 2006, and he'd likely have been a starter on almost any other team before now. But he finally gets his chance to start on a consistent basis... Way to go "Country" (Ingram's nickname in the locker-room, due to his laid back attitude and southern drawl).

Mic LB : Daryl Smith
Sam LB: Justing Durant
Wil LB: Clint "Country" Ingram