July 28 2011; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Harper (64) tries to block defensive tackle D

D'Anthony Smith - Why the Jags' Rotation DT Will See The Field in 2012

D’Anthony Smith has played zero downs in his NFL career thus far.  None, zip, nada.  That’s the same number of times that I’ve gone hang gliding, dived with sharks, and participated in D-Day Paintball in Oklahoma.

And just like the things I’ve never done, I’m certain that D’Anthony Smith really wants to play at least a down of football in 2012.  Hell, I bet he doesn’t want to do it just once.  I bet he wants to do it all season long, and then the season after that.  And the season after that.

Unfortunately, in the past two seasons he has been derailed by injury.  I’ve even gone so far as to say that I think he should probably be cut because my non-GM minded patience is getting thing.  Whether it’s a torn achilles or a torn ligament in a toe, it just seems like the guy can’t keep it going.  Which is really too bad, because last year he was rumored to be in phenomenal shape.

But this year will be different.  This year the Jags will use Smith the way he was meant to: a fresh legged rotation for Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton.

With a player like Smith whose potential apparently has a very high ceiling, it will be important to put him in on a regular rotation at defensive tackle.  Knighton and Alualu can definitely use some relief in the middle.  It’s tough to keep your big guys on the field continually through each game.  Smith can help alleviate that problem.

And he will.

Because he’s healthy.  He’s fit.  And he has coaches that want him to succeed.

So far there hasn’t been much news on Smith.  That’s a good thing.  In this case, no news is good news.

We’ll see how he looks coming to camp.  We’ll see how Mel Tucker feels he can contribute.  And I think he’ll be just fine this year.

But maybe this is mostly just hope on my end.  Hope that the draft pick pays off.  Hope that everything turns out alright for the Jags.  I don’t really know.  But man I’m really pulling for the guy to prove me wrong and show that he deserves on the team.

- Luke N. Sims

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