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The Jaguars board is claiming that Mike Smith has accepted the job and it will be announced later on today


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I saw that...they also seem to respect the guy, although several of them were surprised he got the Atlanta job...ASSUMING the reports are correct!

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freakyfalcon (1/23/2008)
stewie (1/23/2008)
ATL4ever (1/23/2008)
I'm done with those losers. They don't have a clue.

So I guess you are not really ATL4ever then???

I hate fans like this. He will be the first one on here claiming that he has been a fan for a long time when they start winning.

they're are called flip-floppers and bandwagoners.

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freakyfalcon (1/23/2008)
stewie (1/23/2008)
ATL4ever (1/23/2008)
I'm done with those losers. They don't have a clue.

So I guess you are not really ATL4ever then???

I hate fans like this. He will be the first one on here claiming that he has been a fan for a long time when they start winning.

Yup...If you don't know much about Mike Smith, that is fine. If you disagree with him being selected (IF IT HAPPENS), then that is fine as well. But to jump ship or make statements like that is very tiring. Make constructive comments or PLEASE don't make any comments at all (unless they are witty and hilarious or contain boobies!)

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Jags coordinator has common name, uncommonly good defenses

Pete Prisco Oct. 18, 2007

By Pete Prisco

CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Five more assistants to watch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- OK, you probably know the Jacksonville Jaguars are known for their rugged defense, one that year after year seems to be among the league's best and one that physically beats down opponents, even in losses.

Mike Smith's defense faces its toughest test Monday night -- the Colts. (Getty Images)

Mike Smith's defense faces its toughest test Monday night -- the Colts. (Getty Images)

You probably know a few of the players, too. Defensive tackles Marcus Stroud, Big John Henderson, linebacker Mike Peterson and corner Rashean Mathis to name a few.

But here's the question of the week: Who's the coordinator of that unit?

Hmm. Does Jack Del Rio run it himself? Nope. Dave Campo? No, he's the secondary coach. Mike Tice? Nope, he's tight ends coach.

The man who runs that defense, and a coach who gets almost no attention nationwide, is Mike Smith.


Here's what you need to know about Mike Smith:

" He grew up a surfing dude in Daytona Beach, just down the road from Jacksonville, which is hard to believe when you see his buttoned-up style now. "We'd race out to the surf in the morning, go to school, and then sometimes go back after school," Smith said. "Of course, I haven't been on a board for 15 years."

" He's the son of a coach. His father was a junior high coach in Daytona Beach for years. "I got thrown in the showers a lot when I was a kid hanging around the high school teams," Smith said. "I always wanted to be around coaching. I never knew where it would lead to."

" He's the brother-in-law of Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick; they're married to sisters. "When we talk, it's hard not to talk football," Smith said. "We're football coaches."

" He isn't a screamer, a self-promoter or a guy who distances himself from his players. "He talks to you, not at you," Stroud said. "He doesn't talk down to you."

But the most important thing about Smith is that he's simply a good football coach. Talk to people inside the building, people close to the program, and they swear by Smith as a coach. They insist he's a head coach in waiting, and I tend to agree.

Smith's attention to detail is said to be as good as any in the game. The results speak for themselves.

His current unit is ranked second in points-per game (11.6) behind the Steelers (9.4). The Jaguars allowed last-minute touchdowns the past two games that kept them from the top spot, one ruining a shutout at Kansas City on the final play.

Now comes the real test: the Indianapolis Colts and their high-flying offense. It's the type of game, on a Monday night in front of a national television audience, that could end up making Mike Smith a hot coaching commodity.

"We talk about losing him sometimes, and we don't want that to happen," Peterson said. "But we know it could happen someday."

Del Rio brought Smith with him when he became the coach in 2003. The two worked together on Billick's staff in Baltimore, Smith as defensive assistant line coach for the Super Bowl-winning Ravens in 2001 and Del Rio as linebackers coach. Del Rio left to become coordinator in Carolina in 2002, and Smith took over coaching the linebackers. When Del Rio became coach of the Jaguars, Smith followed.

Heading into this season, the Jaguars ranked fourth in overall defense, third in offensive points allowed and fifth in rushing defense during Smith's tenure.

The 2006 season might have been one of the best coaching jobs by any assistant in the league. Smith lost his top pass rusher (Reggie Hayward) for the year in the first game, lost starting safety Donovin Darius in the seventh and Peterson in the eighth. Stroud played on an ankle that required micro-fracture surgery after the season, and projected starting linebacker Pat Thomas missed every game.

Smith and his patchwork group somehow finished ranked second in total defense, giving up 283.6 yards. They allowed only 11 points per game at home, pitching two shutouts.

Ask Smith about those numbers coming with all the injuries, and he just shrugs it off.

"You just have to play with what you have," Smith said. "The guys went out and did the job. You have to have contingency plans for when they go down. That's why we cross-train our guys so they're ready to play other positions and have comfort level when they do."

You didn't expect self-promotion, did you?

A former college linebacker at East Tennessee State, Smith isn't one of those in-your-face coaches that some who played the position can be. Watching him work the field is like watching a teacher coddling his students.

Don't let that fool you. He can get on a player when it's needed.

"Oh yeah," Peterson said. "He can jump you when it's needed. You guys just don't see it."

"I don't yell and scream, but I am passionate about what we do and how we do things," Smith said.

The Jaguars don't play an exotic style of defense, which is why it and especially Smith don't get the attention they deserve. Their base 4-3 is predicated on the two big tackles and Peterson and his linebacker mates shutting down the run and putting teams in passing situations.

They do blitz, but it isn't the fancy schemes like say the Ravens use in Baltimore under Rex Ryan. It's just good, fundamental defense with a few wrinkles mixed in.

"I think there are certain principles of defense that all defenses have," Smith said. "I think it's about getting guys in the right position to make plays. It doesn't matter if you're a big blitzing team or whatever. All that matters is the final result."

Peterson frowned when told the Jaguars defense wasn't considered exotic.

"We do some exotic stuff," he said. "But when you play good defense, you don't need to do a lot of that."

After a horrible opening game against the Tennessee Titans, in which the Jaguars gave up a stunning 282 yards rushing, they've tightened it up and given up just 200 combined in the four games since. Included was a 10-yard effort against the Chiefs.

So what happened on opening day?

"Gap control," Peterson said.

That's fixable, especially with a coach like Smith.

The Colts offer a different problem. Yes, they can run it, but they are a pass-first offense with Peyton Manning. That's where Smith becomes even more important. The Jaguars don't have a premier edge rusher -- Hayward is still coming off that injury -- and Smith has to compensate by creating ways to get to the passer. It has been that way for almost all of his tenure in Jacksonville, which makes the defenses' success even more eye-opening.

"He just goes about his business with that laid-back attitude and gets it done," Stroud said. "That's Smitty. Look at him. He's a businessman."

He might be a businessman readying for the biggest interview of his life. NFL owners take note: Mike Smith is a name you all should be familiar with even if he isn't one that many would fans would know.


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