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Five Things you need to know bout our NEW HC


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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)

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.

Who?

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

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