A.J. Bouye had a locker close to Telvin Smith’s in the Jacksonville Jaguars dressing room, so they talked with each other quite a bit.
Bouye, a cornerback, also talks with other players.
‘Just for him to step away from the game, something must really be going on’
And he says that some of them informed him that Smith, a linebacker, was planning to leave the team for the 2019, something Smith made public earlier this month via his Instagram account.
“I kind of heard from certain players who talked to him that it was going to happen,” Bouye told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “You never know what somebody is going through outside of football, and Telvin’s always been a good guy in the locker room. Our lockers were close to each other, I would always talk to him every day, we were always joking. Just for him to step away from the game, something must really be going on.
“He’s definitely going to be missed out there. But it’s definitely going to be a next-man-up and we’ve got young guys coming in and we’re just trying to pick up on that role.”
‘He knows that we have his support no matter what, even if you have to take care of stuff back at home’
“At the end of the day, we’re still family, we’re still teammates. He was a great friend. And he knows that we have his support, no matter what, even if you have to take care of stuff back at home. He’s definitely going to be missed out there. But it’s definitely going to be a next-man-up and we’ve got young guys coming in and we’re just trying to pick up on that role.”
Smith was a major contributor to the Jaguars’ defense. His 134 tackles will be difficult to replace.
‘You just see the presence he brought to our defense’
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” Bouye said. “It’s some big shoes to fill. I usually watch a lot of film, and then even watching last year, you just see the presence he brought to our defense. From an energy standpoint, effort standpoint and just the plays he made, especially since I’ve been there, that’s definitely going to be missed and all you can do is hope that whoever’s going to fill in that way, can at least do half of that.
“We have a good defense. The chemistry out there, we’re still working each and every day to keep getting better as a team and even as a defense. So, you know, some of those plays might be missed, but we have a lot of playmakers all over defense who are just going to have to do a little more to make up for that.”
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