Jaguars Game Has Special Meaning for Russ-Doe's Sandwich Shop Owners | Business

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Jaguars Game Has Special Meaning for Russ-Doe's Sandwich Shop Owners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At Russ-Doe's Sandwich shop, between the hot sandwiches and cold salads, there is room for football, lots of football.

On the wall are a football jersey and a picture of a player wearing the jersey - No. 11.  "Oh yeah, that's his number, that was his number in college," said Russell Smith Jr.

Smith's son Rusty Smith is a first-year quarterback for the Tennessee Titans; 11 is his number. 

"He's a good kid. He's worked hard, I ran for a lot of passes in the front yard and the backyard," said his father.

It took hard work and strong discipline, he said, like working around the family's Eastside sandwich shop.

"When he was 7... I started him parking cars out there, picking up the trash," he said. "We just talking about that this morning, he has fond memories."

Ironically, Smith said when Rusty first expressed an interest in football, he told him to focus on his grades and get a good education.

"I always told him there was no future in football, he needs to be a dentist," said Smith.

But his son decided to pull snaps, instead of teeth, and went from Florida Atlantic University to the NFL. "It is hard to believe that I actually have a son in the NFL, " he added.

The 6-foot 5-inch QB was drafted by the Tennessee Titans following a college career at FAU.

He made the final cuts and is on the 53-man roster. To say his father is proud is an understatement.

Smith is a very humble parent, and even though watching a football game with his son is just not the same, he is proud of his son's accomplishment.

"I can't watch a football game with him. He stops and backs it up, and wants to show me the blocking schemes," he said.

The elder Smith said he just wants the younger Smith to be very sucessful as an NFL quarterback. "I have customers stop by every week and tell me, 'I play catch with your son right out there,' so it is a long road," said Smith.

 

 

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