JACKSONVILLE – As Telvin Smith sees it, the time is now.
And the way the Jaguars' linebacker sees it, that's not just because head coach Doug Marrone, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Jaguars' leadership have been talking about winning now all offseason.
Smith, a fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft from Florida State who will enter his fourth NFL season in 2017, said there is an urgency around the organization this offseason.
And there is an internal urgency that comes from within the locker room as much as from leadership.
"There most definitely is," Smith said during an appearance on O-Zone Live on Facebook Thursday. "I just think with any program you're a part of … getting beat on and getting beat up on, you only take it for so long – especially when you have players like myself, like A-Rob [wide receiver Allen Robinson, like [wide receiver Allen] Hurns, that come from competitive situations …
"Now, it's like, 'Come on.'''
Smith said he and the aforementioned fellow four-year veterans must play like veteran leaders.
"We're looked at as the guys to step up and make these plays and do these things," Smith said. "We're no longer the younger players. We have younger players looking up to us. Now, we understand a little more.
"That's not pressure at all: Let's go do it. It's on us."
The Jaguars have won 11 games in Smith's three seasons, finishing 3-13 last season. That was a disappointing season that began with higher hopes. Marrone spent the last two games of last season as interim head coach, with the "interim" tag removed January 9.
That was the same day Coughlin took over in his new position. While Coughlin and Marrone have brought a tone of toughness and urgency to the organization, Smith said the experiences of the last the three seasons also have helped shape the team's young leaders.
"Just the situations we've been put through: getting here, having a coaching staff, and going through all the ups and downs with that," Smith said. "Now, changing the coaching staff and adjusting to a new regime … you have to have a level of maturity to handle it, because it's not the same and at the same time it's still football.
"You have to respect these guys who are coming in and still love and continue to play this game the way you know how to play it."