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Smith doing it the right way


Fan criticism will almost certainly continue, the fire having been fanned by the second consecutive selection of a defensive tackle. Through the first two rounds of this draft, the Jaguars have selected two defensive tackles.

In what may go down as the angriest two days in Jacksonville history, General Manager Gene Smith has somehow summoned the courage to do what's right and, in the process, invite the wrath of his team's fans. Hey, he knew it was coming. That's what's most impressive.

What's saddest about all of this is that these same fans who are blasting Smith for his picks, don't understand that Smith is building their team into a winner. Some day they'll look back and get it, but that day is not likely to be any time soon. Thick skin will continue to be in high demand within the walls of One Stadium Place.

The fans wanted Tim Tebow. Smith's evaluations didn't support making that pick. He went with Cal DT Tyson Alualu, a strange name that sent the fan base into an uproar.

One day, those fans will appreciate what GM Gene did for them. Alualu is going to be a fixture on the team's defensive lines of the future. He has the talent to become a star player, and the humble and warm Polynesian personality to be a celebrity the equivalent of another Polynesian player with trademark long hair.

You'll see. Remember that.

The selection of the other DT, Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith, pronounces the position officially fixed for a long, long time. Two drafts have yielded Terrance Knighton, Alualu and Smith. Done!

You'll see. Remember that.

"They're both explosive. They're both three-technique types. This is the last guy at the defensive tackle position. Last year, this guy would not have been there," Smith said of D'Anthony Smith. "He was the next guy on our board. We stayed with our board."

Slowly, procedurally Gene Smith is saving the franchise. Any chance Jacksonville has of keeping this team rests with Smith. Unfortunately, his team's fans don't see it that way. They wanted the quick fix with Tebow, and now they're angry at Smith because they didn't get what they wanted.

That's the good news; they didn't get what they wanted. The disciplined way is the best way. It's the only way.

You'll see. Remember that.

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