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Jaguars' speedy rookie LB Telvin Smith stands out

Posted: May 20, 2014 - 8:54pm  |  Updated: May 21, 2014 - 9:53am
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Will.Dickey@jacksonville.com  Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith (50) keeps an eye on receiver Marqise Lee during the rookie minicamp Saturday.  AP
AP
Will.Dickey@jacksonville.com Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith (50) keeps an eye on receiver Marqise Lee during the rookie minicamp Saturday.

Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith lived up to how he describes himself as a player during last week’s two-day rookie minicamp.

The former Florida State standout made plays.

With the team practicing in just helmets with no contact, speed was at a premium. Smith showed why the Jaguars took him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, despite failing a drug test at the scouting combine.

“We felt like he learned really well, and he moved around really well,” Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. “He’s got a long way to go, but we saw a lot of potential. We were able to see what we were looking for in these practices. The type of movement and speed these guys have and you could feel it with him. He showed some acceleration where he was able to finish the play.”

On Friday, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Smith reacted quickly to a check-down pass, showing off his burst. Later in the practice, he was responsible for second-round pick Marqise Lee in the slot. Quarterback Blake Bortles, the third-overall pick, looked to Lee the whole play while rolling out, but Smith had Lee covered. Bortles kept the ball, running out of bounds. Babich ran 20 yards to go celebrate with Smith.

“He was happy I recognized the play,” Smith said. “The coaches have put in all this time, so when you go out on the field and the results come, everyone gets elated. There’s a feeling there, and everyone is hyped because we’re getting something accomplished out there, and it’s not all for nothing. To shut that play down and make Blake go to another route when he wants the big guy, and actually he ended up running it, that’s what we want to lock down.”

Smith kept the plays coming Saturday. He nearly intercepted Bortles, getting two hands on a ball 15 yards downfield as he jumped into the air. Smith and Bortles joked about the play later in the locker room after practice.

“I was close yesterday to a pick, and today I got even closer,” Smith said. “The next practice, I wish we had a third one, then I would’ve locked it in. I can cover ground. I saw the route coming from the other side of the field. I just got in the lane. Bortles thought he could squeeze it over me a little bit. We’re all in the NFL now. He’s going to have to get it right. He made a good pass, but I was just there to capitalize on the play.”

Smith’s fiery and upbeat personality was on display for the two days. When he wasn’t disrupting the offense he was often dancing to the music playing.

“He’s got a strong personality and a very vibrant personality,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. “You saw more of that today. He felt more confident, and that’s part of the reason we drafted him, that spirit. His speed [stands out]. With Telvin, he moves really well in space. He picks things up. He’s just got to put some weight on.”

That’s the topic that does take the smile off of Smith’s face, although the jokes still come. The Jaguars have health shakes available for the players after practice, and Smith is surely going to get his fair share. Bradley wants him around 230 pounds as soon as possible.

“I’ve got two shakes here,” Smith said at his locker. “I’ve got two shakes in my shoes. I’ve got Gatorades, water. I’m eating. It’s about putting it on. I’m going to make sure I’m where I need to be when the season starts. I’m going to go get a job, make plays. I’ll do whatever I can to help the team and right now that’s adding weight, so that’s what I’m doing.”

The question is how much, if any, of Smith's tremendous quickness will he lose if he’s able to gain roughly 10 pounds in the next two months?

He lived up to his reputation coming out of FSU. If Smith can maintain that speed, it might be hard for the Jaguars to keep him off the field.

Running back Storm Johnson was familiar with Smith’s abilities prior to last weekend, but got an up-close look as he was a frequent target on check-downs and screens.

“I know that he’s quick to the ball and fearless,” Johnson said. “He’s going to come after you. ... If he gets to 230, watch out.”

Once the Jaguars are back on the field later this month for organized team activities, Smith will once again be trying to get a huge reaction from Babich.

“To see the response from him gives me the extra oomph to want to go harder,” Smith said. “It makes me want to get more in the playbook, so I can get that reaction more often.”

 

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Comments (2)

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revivedteal
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revivedteal 05/21/14 - 06:23 am
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Premium Member

Another fast swarm and hit

Another fast swarm and hit guy. They know exactly what they need for the Seattle scheme and are putting the pieces in place in FA and now draft. Cannot wait to watch the defense this year.

Davethecaveman
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Davethecaveman 05/21/14 - 05:31 am
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Telvin needs to eat lunch and

Telvin needs to eat lunch and dinner at Golden Coral every day.

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