Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he was “heated,” and that had nothing to do with the steamy North Florida weather.
Instead, he’s a little hot about the lack of progress the Jaguars have shown through their spring practices, the Organized Team Activities failing to show the strides the team was supposed to make under disciplinarian coach Doug Marrone.
“I just think as a team, we should be further than we are,” Smith said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “As players, we have to do our part. It’s not the scheme. It’s us [saying], ‘What do we want? What is our mentality going to be?’ . . .
“Right now is when we’re making the [identity] of this team. It’s not when we go into training camp and we say, ‘OK, now we can turn it on.’ We’re going to decide the mentality of this team right now.”
That kind of unsolicited speech isn’t a sign of things going smoothly in Jacksonville, where expectations have been as normal a part of the spring as the team failing to meet them in the fall. But things were supposed to be different now, with Marrone on the sidelines and Tom Coughlin over the top of it all.
They’re missing several players right now, and are shuffling some others around (specifically with his linebackers as they move Myles Jack to the middle). But he’s not liking what he’s seeing, so he called the unit together after yesterday’s practice to tell them they’re falling behind.
“Just our mentality,” Smith said. “The mindset of this team. The things that we should be using to beat opponents are beating us. … I’ll just leave it right there.”
And when discussing the addition of defensive end Calais Campbell, he peeled back the onion even further.
“I always like to say it’s still a culture here that has to be broken before one can be created,” Smith said.
That speaks to issues that may not be able to be fixed quickly, as the Jaguars try to transition from a team with talented parts to an actual team.