Gene Smith fired by Jacksonville Jaguars
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Updated: Dec. 31, 2012 at 08:37 a.m.
The Jacksonville Jaguars aren't wasting any time. They were officially the first team to make a move on "Black Monday," sending out a press release at 8:10 a.m. ET announcing they have parted ways with general manager Gene Smith.
"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," owner Shahid Khan said in a statement. "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."
The move was long expected. Smith's drafts were uneven, failing to fix the team's problems at quarterback and defensive end. And like so many others, Smith was ultimately undone by a poor first-round quarterback selection.
Blaine Gabbert went No. 8 overall in the 2011 draft. The team also spent a great deal of money in free agency on players like linebacker Clint Session and wide receiver Laurent Robinson. Smith also showed a nice ability to find talent out of small schools, like cornerback Derek Cox (William & Mary) and wide receiver Cecil Shorts (Mount Union), but Jacksonville's overall talent base did not improve enough under Smith's four-year tenure. The team's No. 10 overall pick from 2010, Tyson Alualu, was a surprise pick who underachieved.
It all led to a 2-14 record for the Jaguars in 2012, the worst season since the franchise began in 1996.
The fate of coach Mike Mularkey remains uncertain. He is scheduled to meet with the media as usual on Monday. It is likely that the next general manager will decide whether or not to retain Mularkey.
That's not a great sign for him. New bosses usually want to make their own hires.