Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cuts Never Easy for Smith; Jags General Manager Must Deliver a Lot of Bad News This Week

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cuts Never Easy for Smith; Jags General Manager Must Deliver a Lot of Bad News This Week

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

This is the longest week of the year for Jaguars general manager Gene Smith.

He must cut the Jaguars' roster from 80 to 75 players today and then down to 53 on Saturday.

"It's really the most difficult thing I do," he said.

And Smith not only makes the decisions, he tries to meet with each player personally to give them the bad news.

Things have changed from the days when the so-called "Turk" knocked on players' dorm doors in training camp and told them to "bring your playbook" because the coach wants to see them.

That was back when teams started out with more than 100 players and cuts were made during training camp. Now teams have only 80 players, camp is shorter and only a handful are cut before camp ends.

The late George Young, the former general manager of the New York Giants who was cut by the Dallas Texans in 1952, once told the New York Times, "It was tense around those dorm rooms. You spent weeks hearing the Turk knocking on doors up and down the hall."

The Jaguars' so-called "Turk" is Patrick Mulaney, the scouting assistant/player personnel, who notifies players at the stadium that they need to see Smith. He doesn't knock on doors.

The final cuts will be made Saturday, when the players are off, and Mulaney will call them and ask them to come to the stadium to meet with Smith.

They often also meet with coach Jack Del Rio and then meet with Tim Walsh, the director of football administration, who handles the release paperwork and calls the players' agents.

Smith wants to handle the process in a professional way.

"I want our players to know I do care about them as people, not just as football players," he said. "I always try to do things in a manner as to how I'd like to be treated. Going through roster moves, I try to deal with them directly if at all possible. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.