The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the middle of rookie mini camp and there are a lot of storylines — Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor in practice for the first time, new tight end Josh Oliver, small school prospect Quincy Williams — but the most talked about is (obviously) Telvin Smith walking away from football for at least the 2019 NFL season.
Head coach Doug Marrone was asked about after practice on Friday and he had quite a bit to say:
“I’ll go ahead and address the situation yesterday in regard to Telvin Smith Sr. and what he tweeted out. I have not spoken to him. You found out the same information that I found out at the same time that I found out. I think that for me, I kind of put football to the side. I think for me, that is an afterthought right now in concern with Telvin. I really believe in my heart that Telvin knows that we are here to support him in any which way. Not just myself, the coaches, the organization, his teammates … I’m sure he is aware of that and if all we can do is make sure we pray and he knows that if he needs some support then obviously we are here for him ...
Telvin’s a strong man. He feels like a lot of guys on this team that can handle their situations. We just want to make sure that everyone knows we are there to support them. If they reach out and hopefully each player does – not just Telvin – that they don’t have to do anything alone. We are here for him ...
The first thing I said was that you have to take football and put it to the side. It’s not about football. It’s about making sure that he’s OK just as a person and being a good human being. That is the part that we want to be able to help him with, but obviously we respect his decision, and I know in my heart that he knows not only us as coaches, but his teammates and the organization – we are here to support him in any which way we can.”
Like Leonard Fournette’s response earlier in the week, this is exactly the right way you need to look at this situation. These are strong men and if they could be there with their teammates — physically, mentally, and emotionally — they would be.
But for whatever reason, Telvin isn’t able to be there. He has things outside of football that he needs to take care of and in addition to not coming down hard on him, we need to hope that Telvin the person can get whatever he needs to take care of taken care of.
Telvin isn’t playing in 2019. It’s time to let it go.