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Newly promoted GM Smith has final say on personnel for Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars promoted Gene Smith to general manager Monday, one of four changes meant to clarify responsibilities in the franchise's personnel department.

Team owner Wayne Weaver also named Terry McDonough director of player personnel, Tim Mingey assistant director of college personnel and Andy Dengler national scout.

Weaver said Smith will have the final say in all personnel decisions, a clear deviation from the way the Jaguars handled things in recent years. Coach Jack Del Rio, former personnel chief James "Shack" Harris and Smith used a consensus approach the last six seasons.

Together, they drafted quarterback Byron Leftwich, receiver Reggie Williams, receiver Matt Jones, tight end Marcedes Lewis, safety Reggie Nelson and defensive end Derrick Harvey in the first round. None of those players has made a Pro Bowl, and Leftwich and Williams are out of Jacksonville.

Harris and the Jaguars parted ways before the season finale. Several members of his regime were also fired in a front office shake-up. Assistant director of pro personnel Larry Wright, executive scout Art Perkins and Harris' assistant, Lori Mason, were fired this week.

"The changes we are making will bring greater clarity in responsibilities, with Gene Smith having final say in personnel decisions and Jack Del Rio having final say in all coaching decisions," Weaver said in a statement. "Gene has been given greater and greater responsibility with this organization, and I am confident that in this new role he will be successful in directing our football operation."

Smith has been with the Jaguars for 14 seasons, serving as a college scout, director of college scouting and executive director of college and pro personnel. He was promoted to vice president of player personnel when Harris resigned last month.

"Gene and Jack have worked closely in the past and will continue to do so to make this a strong, competitive team year in and year out. Our goal is to win a championship and the moves we make are with that clear objective in mind. I'm excited for our fans because I believe we are ascending as 2009 unfolds," Weaver said.

McDonough has been with the Jaguars for six years, most recently serving as national scout. Mingey has been with the team since 1994, serving as executive scout for the last six seasons after working as a college scout for nine years. Dengler was promoted to executive scout in 2008 after serving as a college scout for 10 years.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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