Justin Smiley was a bit of a disappointment to the Jaguars in the 2010 season, only starting 5 games before being sidelined with a series of injuries that kept him out for the remaining 11 games. Unfortunately, those lingering injuries, as well as the $2 million that he was going to make this year, have left him as another victim of Gene Smith's youth movement. Combined with Manuwai being put on the PUP list, this could pave the way for rookie offensive guard, Will Rackley to make a name for himself at left guard, since he is the only LG left.
With Vince Manuwai's age (31) and his contract issues (He is set to become a free agent next year), he is probably on his way out after 2011. Another factor is the ACL and MCL injuries that he sustained at the beginning of the 2008 season, which have hampered his playing level for the past two years. However, to the delight of many Jaguar fans, he seemed to return to his old form late last year, leading Maurice Jones-Drew to six consecutive 100-yard rushing games in a row. However, he faded back into obscurity as the Jaguars dropped their last three games to miss the playoffs. With Rackley clearly seen as the left guard of the future, Vince Manuwai might be eventually phased out. As the Jaguars get deeper into 2011 season, I would not be surprised to see the coaches let Rackley handle more snaps. That way, Rackley will have a smooth transition when the 2012 season starts with a couple of games under his belt.
Tags: Justin Smiley, Vince Manuwai, Will Rackley