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Jimmy Smith says Leonard Fournette didn’t protect his teammates or his team

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without starting running back Leonard Fournette for tomorrow’s game against the Indianapolis Colts because of a fight in the second half with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson and deservedly so — Fournette ran in from the opposite sideline and immediately squared up on two Bills players pushing and shoving fellow running back Carlos Hyde.

And former Jaguars great Jimmy Smith isn’t happy about it... or much else going on with the team this year.

Smith was a guest on 1010XL’s “XL Primetime” radio show to discuss the Fournette suspension and other issues surrounding the team last week and Smith did not hold back, saying Fournette wasn’t thinking of the team when he ran onto the sidelines.

“It goes to maturity and this is not the first-time that he has been suspended,” Smith said. “It seems like these guys get suspended pretty often for knucklehead things. He’s got to think team first and in that game, he wasn’t even on the field, he was on the sideline ... I understand him trying to protect his teammates, but in reality, you didn’t protect your teammates, or your team. He had to be on the field. If he wants to pick a fight, pick a fight with himself and remain on the field and finish the ballgame.”

Smith even went so far as to say that the Jaguars would not have lost last week had Fournette stayed in the game.

“If he played in that second-half we would have won the ballgame. I know there is a lot of frustration and guys want to take it out on each other and on their opponents, but you just have to play football, show great leadership, and love your team.”

The former All-Pro wide receiver also gave his opinions on Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best player on the team, saying the star cornerback’s trash talking has put a target on the team’s back.

“We took care of business on the field and left all the trash talking alone. We did a little trash talking inside the game, but there was no bulletin board material or any of that stuff. Just play the game. You get paid to go out and play the game. You don’t get paid to trash talk ... You look at Jalen Ramsey’s trash talk and where it’s gotten him and the whole defense. Team’s gear up for you when you trash talk. They go out to prove a point and Buffalo was a prime example.”

“I don’t remember ever in franchise history having as many issues as we have had just this one season with suspensions and trash-talking. Loud teams in the NFL aren’t the ones that are winning, the quiet teams are the one that are and when I reflect back to our glory days, we were a quiet team.”

Lastly, Smith discussed the firing of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, saying he was surprised it didn’t happen sooner in the season.

“I thought it would have happened a few weeks earlier while the team still had some time to give it a shot. You have to shake some things up when things are not going well and I’m surprised that he stayed employed that long ... Now, I think that it is more than Nate Hackett that is the problem, or it may have not been Nate Hackett at all, we will find that out.”

Read all of the transcript from the interview at 1010XL’s website here.