Mike Smith: Please Return to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Dwan SamuelCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2008

Dear Smitty,

Duval County has not been the same since you left. I know that I should probably be the bigger person and congratulate you on your success thus far with the Atlanta Falcons, but it is rather difficult when we have fallen from potential greatness to possible mediocrity. 

I don’t blame you at all Smitty. I am happy for you, but while you have taken rookie Matt Ryan and the Falcons team and had one of the best turnaround seasons this year, the Jaguars just can’t seem to find their “swagger” that they possessed when you were here.

While you were the defensive coordinator for Jaguars, the defense was a feared unit in the league. Everyone knew that the Jaguars' plan of attack was to run the ball (which was done quite well last season) to keep the clock on their side and then let the D get on the field to force turnovers and keep the jerseys of QBs filthy by pounding them into the ground time and time again. 

The Jaguars' defense is no longer feared. We have now fallen from glory since your departure. We were ranked 12th in overall defense and ninth in sacks just last season with everyone anticipating that we could only get better.

Thus far this season, we are ranked 23rd in overall defense and 30th in sacks. 

Yes, Smitty those are the statistical rankings, and yes they are accurate. 

Remember when we had a very inconsistent QB in Byron Leftwich in 2006? Our offense still found a way to be ranked 10th overall, but, Smitty, our defense was ranked No. 2 that season. 

Last season, the offense, defense, and special teams were finding ways to get the job done. They would start strong and finish strong. They played as a team.

In your absence, the team (the defense especially) seems confused. They seem to be playing for individual stats and are not working toward the common goal.

I have nothing against your replacement, Gregg Williams, but he has yet to show the fans that he has what it takes to reside over the "Teal Curtain."

“It’s not Gregg Williams’ defense. It’s the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. I’m doing 85-90 percent of what they did [last year],” Williams told reporters two weeks ago.

I tell you, Smitty, I have to disagree with his statement. He is not doing 85-90 percent of what you were doing last year, because you were making sure that quarterbacks felt pressure...EVERY GAME. The Jaguars’ D made huge plays when you were here. I miss those days.

They fed us the lines about hiring Williams because he liked to get after the quarterback. I fell for it at first, but I have yet to see any success with that.

I believe that if you would have stuck around, you would have fought to keep our defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson together. When you left and Stroud was soon shipped off to Buffalo, that was all of the foreshadowing that we all needed to know what would happen next. 

I guess that I am not surprised, but I am truly disappointed. I think that if you return, you can help turn this thing around.

I know that I am being quite selfish (and acting like a big baby), but please come back.  You grew up only 45 minutes away in Daytona, FL, so Jacksonville is like your home. 

Duval County, the city of Jacksonville, the Jaguars' organization, and the fans of the Jaguars miss you. I miss you. I miss the dominant defense that you built.


P.S. If you remain in Atlanta as head coach, I hope that you are happy, and I hope that they appreciate you; but if we ever get to meet up with you in a Super Bowl, I hope that we terrorize your new team. And I mean that with love.