Marrone: ‘I really believe in my heart that Telvin(Smith) knows that we are here to support him in any which way’

On Thursday, Jaguars LB Telvin Smith announced that he is stepping away from the game of football for the 2019 season. Smith made the announcement on his Instagram account.

Smith, 28, made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and was one the team’s top defensive players. Smith skipped Jacksonville’s voluntary offseason workouts in April. He was scheduled to make $9.75 million in 2019.

Today,  Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed the Smith situation, and according to Marrone, Jacksonville found out Smith was not coming back when the world found out.

Here is what he had to say at the Jaguars’ Rookie Minicamp:

(Opening statement)

Marrone: “I’ll go ahead and address the situation yesterday in regard to Telvin Smith Sr. and what he tweeted out. I have not spoken to him. You found out the same information that I found out at the same time that I found out. I think that for me, I kind of put football to the side. I think for me, that is an afterthought right now in concern with Telvin. I really believe in my heart that Telvin knows that we are here to support him in any which way. Not just myself, the coaches, the organization, his teammates … I’m sure he is aware of that and if all we can do is make sure we pray and he knows that if he needs some support then obviously we are here for him. That is No. 1. No. 2, as a coach, I think that you are prepared for things. You have to be ready for everything – injuries, retirements, stepping away – whatever it may be.

(On if he had any idea that Telvin Smith Sr. was struggling with anything)

Marrone: “No. Telvin’s a strong man. He feels like a lot of guys on this team that can handle their situations. We just want to make sure that everyone knows we are there to support them. If they reach out and hopefully each player does – not just Telvin – that they don’t have to do anything alone. We are here for him.”

(On why he feels that Telvin Smith doesn’t feel comfortable reaching out)

Marrone: “You would have to ask him. I don’t know.”

(On if he is concerned for Telvin Smith’s well-being) “Yes, I mean in the beginning, the first thing I said was that you have to take football and put it to the side. It’s not about football. It’s about making sure that he’s OK just as a person and being a good human being. That is the part that we want to be able to help him with, but obviously we respect his decision, and I know in my heart that he knows not only us as coaches, but his teammates and the organization – we are here to support him in any which way we can.”

(On if he tried to have someone get a hold of Telvin Smith)

Marrone: “We just tried to make contact. That’s all we tried to do.”

(On if he’s made contact with Telvin Smith’s agent)

Marrone: “I have not talked to his agent, no. I don’t know that.”

(On if he plans to work Josh Allen at linebacker and if Telvin Smith’s announcement changes how the team will use Allen this weekend)

Marrone: “We have to look.  You look at Josh and you are looking at a 6 feet 4 inches and a half tall and a 265 pound athlete. There is a lot of things we can do. We just got him here. Obviously, he’ll play up, he’ll play down. We will see how he best fits our team as we go through and not try to put too much on his plate and try to see what he can do. Right now, today when he walked out there, he was impressive. It is impressive his moving skills for a big man. We’ll see how that goes, but to answer your question, no. We have a plan for him.”

(On if he had an idea that the team may not have Telvin Smith)

Marrone: “Anytime you don’t have communication, you really don’t know. You have to be prepared in this profession for anything. I think being a head coach for this long, things come up that you don’t expect and you kind of learn early on your first year probably when you’re a head coach that you have to expect everything. I just look at it as more like I said before – my immediate reaction is that the football side of it is out. What can we do to make sure that we are here to support and help the player?”

(On the process if Telvin Smith was to come to him in July or August wanting to play football)

Marrone: “I’m just hoping that if he needs me, I’m here. That is all that I know. As far as the process and everything, I don’t know. I’ve never been through this.”

(On if the door would be open for Telvin Smith to rejoin the team)

Marrone: “Hopefully we have some communication before that. And if we do, yes. That would be great.”

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