Jacksonville Jaguars: Will GM Gene Smith Soon Be on His Way Out?

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Jacksonville Jaguars: Will GM Gene Smith Soon Be on His Way Out?
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Through four years, GM Gene Smith has yet to turn the Jaguars franchise into a winner

Not many words can describe how bad it feels to be a Jaguars fan after Sunday's 27-10 manhandling by the mediocre Bengals.

Disappointing and humbling are two that work for now.

One word that does not work anymore is rebuilding. That is one that Gene Smith better avoid when describing how poorly this team has played thus far in 2012.

Since he became GM in 2009, Gene Smith has made some big moves, but none stick out as any that will lead a franchise to the playoffs - let alone the Super Bowl.

From his moves in free agency to his draft selections, nothing has built into a contender.

Starting in 2009, Smith selected Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, Terrence Knighton, Derek Cox, Mike Thomas and Rashad Jennings.

At this point, not too bad of a draft. Monroe looks to be coming into his prime, Knighton has been a staple on the defensive line and Cox is easily this team's best secondary player.

If only his drafts continued with such depth.

In 2010, the Jaguars selected Tyson Alualu, D'Anthony Smith and Austen Lane.

Three decent players, but none have done much of anything as a Jaguar. Alualu has shown bits and pieces of being a good player, but to this day, he looks more like a 3-4 defensive end than a 4-3 tackle.

2011 brought the hopeful selections of Blaine Gabbert, Will Rackley, Cecil Shorts and Chris Prosinski.

Will Gene Smith be out in Jacksonville after this year?

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We all know about Gabbert, and now Shorts is starting to get some recognition for his game-changers this year. Rackley has had his ups and downs, and now injuries have taken away a shot for a stellar sophomore season. 

Smith must have thought that his 2012 draft class was the final touch on a rebuilding team when it added Justin Blackmon and Andre Branch. Help at the two places that the Jaguars needed it the most.

Blackmon will become a very solid wide receiver with time, and Branch looks like he has the potential, but may have been rushed into the starting lineup.

Out of all of his drafts, however, he may have selected his first Pro Bowl-level player this year in Bryan Anger. Only downside? Anger's a punter who was selected in the third round.

The questions will always be in play as to why they drafted Alualu, or why did they trade up for Blaine Gabbert? Both selected at 10th overall, and both play very important parts of rebuilding this team.

Free agency is a big deal for any team in the offseason, and the Jaguars have been pretty active since Smith was promoted to general manager.

In his first year, Smith did next to nothing. Adding safety Sean Considine, tackle Tra Thomas and wide receiver Torry Holt. 

Two of the three were far past their prime, and Considine was never a starter in the NFL

2010 continued the trend of past-their-prime wasted money with the injured Aaron Kampman

 

After tearing his ACL, Kampman received an overgenerous offer from the pass rush-less Jaguars and gladly accepted.

Kampman should never be knocked as a Jaguar—he brought plenty of things to the team—but unfortunately, on-field production was not one of them, as he never fully recovered from his injury.

The other marquee signing in 2010 was Kassim Osgood, who was never anything more than a special teams stud.

Promised a shot at wide receiver, Osgood just was not good enough and a lack of offensive production led to his release.

The Jaguars came ready to spend in 2011.

Perhaps their most successful pick up to date, Paul Posluszny was lured in with a very rich contract for a linebacker, as was Clint Sessions.

Dawan Landry was brought in to help with the weakness in the Jaguars secondary and Matt Roth helped with the pass rush. Jason Spitz was also brought in for depth on the offensive line.

The team traded for Drew Coleman, who had a productive year, but was then released after just one season.

The 2012 offseason brought in a few more overpaid talents in Laurent Robinson and Aaron Ross.

 

Through attacking needs, Smith went a little too aggressive when he signed Robinson and Ross to very rich contracts despite both showing mediocre skill sets.

Many argue that Robinson saw 11 touchdowns a season ago while he was covered by the leftovers in the secondaries that Dallas played, with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten attracting the better defenders.

One thing that has not been on Gene Smith's side is healthy players.

The Jaguars seem to get the injury bug hard and often. Last year, the Jaguars' injured reserve saw 27 players, including both starting cornerbacks and Eben Britton.

This year, the Jaguars have already seen Will Rackley sent to the IR and they were without Derek Cox for the first two weeks. Jason Spitz is out for the year, and well-known linebacker Daryl Smith is not expected back until after their Week 6 bye.

Eben Britton does not look the same after his Week 1 injury and Laurent Robinson just suffered his third concussion of the year.

The Gene Smith experiment in Jacksonville has been unsuccessful.

Through his four years, the Jaguars have a 21-31 record and have not seen the playoffs.

From the outside looking in, it looks like this team has a bunch of holes throughout the lineup.

From a weak offensive line, to a group of wide receivers who cannot separate from NFL cornerbacks, to a defensive line that has produced 72 sacks in his four years as general manager. That is an average of 1.4 sacks per game. How many games would any team win when you only get to the quarterback once a game?

The Jaguars fanbase not only wants to see changes, but wants to see the directional arrow pointing up for this team. 

Right now, the arrow is pointing down.

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