Who to Watch in 2012: Part II
While Daryl Smith is in the last year of his 5 year deal, I can confidently say that he will re-sign and maintain his level of performance and success for the Jags. Smith is one of the most underrated linebackers in the game, something all Jaguars fans should be aware of. Smith isn’t known as well around the league because he is not only quiet, but because he doesn’t have the sack totals like many well known outside linebackers such as Terrell Suggs, Clay Matthews, or DeMarcus Ware. All of which play in a 3-4 system. However, Smith has been consistently reliable through his eight year career, with his last three years being the best of his eight year career.
Having Paul Posluszny and Clint Session beside him last season has made the Jaguars front 7 a more fearsome front , allowing him to rack up 107 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 fumbles as well as an interception. Daryl is in the final year of his 5 year contract and seems to be having the best statistical seasons of his eight year career.
Another important note to add is that the Jaguars defense finished sixth in overall defense this past season, despite the fact that the Jaguars offense finished dead last. Thus meaning the Jaguars defense was required to take the field more than most, yet still managed to finish sixth. If the Jags revamped passing attack can make the necessary improvements, the team will finish with a much better record, assuming the defense has a repeat in production.
Smith is now entering his 9th NFL season and while writing this article I couldn’t help think of London Fletcher. Both are team captains, lead their teams in tackles, are consistent performers, and maintain good health. I would love nothing more for Smith to continue his career as Fletcher has, and receiving a ProBowl honor wouldn’t hurt either.
Smith should receive an extension this coming season and I believe he is an important cog to the team’s future success.
– Antonio Furgiuele