by Terry McCormick
December 31, 02012
The Jacksonville Jaguars confirmed what had been widely reported and speculated about on Sunday, firing long-time general manager Gene Smith after a 2-14 season.
The Jaguars have sunk to the bottom of the league, and Smith, who has had a number of unsuccessful drafts in recent years, paid the price on Monday as he was relieved of his post.
“I met with Gene Smith this morning to inform him of my decision to go in a new direction and thank him for his dedication to the Jaguars since the inception of the franchise,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. “I am personally appreciative for his efforts during my first season of ownership in the NFL. Gene is a good man with a long career ahead of him in football, and I know this season was as difficult for him as anyone with our organization. I sincerely wish Gene and his family the very best, today and always.
“Now it is time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to begin a new chapter. We’re not looking back. I’ve made it clear from Day One that we pledge nothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville. Our fans have been remarkably loyal over the years, and they were truly outstanding this past season. We simply must do better for our fans.
“Our organization’s business unit had an extremely impressive year and I anticipate even better days ahead in 2013 and beyond, but we all understand this is a football business above all else. With that, I’m determined to find the right man to lead our football operations, someone who shares my vision, understands the commitment we will demand, and is qualified and ready to seize this opportunity. That search begins today.”
With Smith out, an interesting dynamic begins, because a new general manager, depending upon how much power he has, might want his own coach rather than Mike Mularkey, who was just hired last year. Also, it will be interesting to see just how hands on Khan is, as there have already been reports and rumors that the owner wants the Jaguars to look at hometown hero Tim Tebow, who is likely on his way out with the New York Jets, as an option at quarterback.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com