Mike Mularkey hasn’t even met Maurice Jones-Drew

AP

Tucked away in an otherwise positive report about the Jaguars training camp (and there have been few of those so far), comes a nugget of information that’s positively surprising.

Jags coach Mike Mularkey told CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco that he hasn’t even met holdout running back Maurice Jones-Drew yet.

It’s hard to know when he will, as the running back is holding out and showing no signs he’s ready to fold despite the possibility of $30,000 per day fines, as the Jaguars have refused to address his contract concerns.

“I don’t know him at all,” Mularkey told Prisco, adding that other than a few stray phone calls, there has been no contact. He added that running backs coach Sylvester Croom hasn’t either, but they weren’t allowing it to become a distraction.

“I don’t drive home or sit in my office worrying about it,” Mularkey said. “I don’t waste the energy.”

Prisco’s known for (and proud of) his anti-running back stance, and writes a reasonable take that Jones-Drew’s absence is good for the development of Blaine Gabbert (even if I disagree with his premise).

But the stance the Jaguars are taking is oddly arrogant, for a team not overloaded with talent.

Even if you devalue backs and stand firm that it’s only possible to win with a passing game, the Jaguars don’t know yet whether they have one. They claim Gabbert’s improving, but there’s a difference in better-than-last-year (50.8 percent completions, 65.4 rating, 5.4 yards per attempt) and good.

And at the moment, their big-ticket free agent receiver (Laurent Robinson) is off to a slow start, and their supposed first-round playmaker (Justin Blackmon) is the last unsigned draft pick in the league.

For a team with few apparent positives at the moment, bragging about stone-walling the best player on your roster shouldn’t be considered one of them.

24 responses to “Mike Mularkey hasn’t even met Maurice Jones-Drew

  1. I think it’s a great stance. None of the coaching staff has even met MJD and he’s holding out. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. They can fine him and start fresh with a new guy. Caving in to meet MJD’s contract demands isn’t worth winning 1 or 2 more games this season, or being just as bad as last year.

  2. MJD needs to be careful about holding out too long because good RBs are a dime a dozen. He could easily be replaced by an undrafted rookie or RB by committee philosophy.

    Not saying he doesn’t deserve a contract extension but not for the amount he is asking for.

  3. Where are they bragging about stonewalling the best player! Prisco may be anti-running back, but he is also just about the only national media member that actually knows what is going on in Jacksonville. It is very tiresome to see negative spin at every turn from most of the national writers. Why don’t we ever hear about the 6th ranked defense? Why don’t we hear about the tremendous upgrades to the players facilities? Why don’t we hear that the Robinson and Gabbert looked much improved today…since yesterday they struggled…oh I get it, we only hear about the bad in Jacksonville….

  4. I applaud the Jags for their stand. If you let the player think that you’ll cave because you need him, he’ll dig in.

    They can go 4-12 with him or without him.

  5. Drew needs more Jaguars thand Jaguars need Drew?

    MJD will be a top RB with or without Jaguars. Jaguars will be a potential first pick contender without MJD.

    Maybe it1s not the correct attitude from MJD, but he’s a big key for Jaguars.

  6. If I were in the Jags front office I’d say thanks for everything MJD and trade him while he has value. Not saying he isn’t special but the return would be better than keeping him on a losing team. Think about the future Jack!

  7. MJD is showing his true colors.

    what are the team’s options since he obviously seems uninterested in playing without more money? How does the 5-day letter work/is it even an option in this case?

  8. “For a team with few apparent positives at the moment, bragging about stone-walling the best player on your roster shouldn’t be considered one of them.”

    Who is bragging? He has two years left on his deal and hasn’t shown up. What is the team supposed to do? Beg him to come back. The team (i.e. head coach, OC, offensive assistants) aren’t going to miss Jones-Drew while he isn’t here because they’ve never had him. They are moving forward with the guys that are honoring their end of the contract.

  9. “For a team with few apparent positives at the moment, bragging about stone-walling the best player on your roster shouldn’t be considered one of them.”
    —–
    Please show me a quote where a team representative is “bragging about stonewalling” anyone. It’s the other way around, genius. Reaching like that is pure yellow journalism. Anything for a few extra page hits, right?

    MJD hasn’t bothered to contact anyone with the team. But don’t let that get in the way of your bias.

    The team would like MJD to join the team, it totally MJD’s call here. Even Revis reported with his two years left (after cashing in on the frontloaded contract, like MJD did).

    Who would have figured Revis would have more honor and commitment than Mojo? Not me, but I’ve been proven wrong.

  10. I love this guy, he is a great mess to watch. on the other hand jags fans wave goodbye to MJD because mike won’t keep him. Expect that the team will sign some one like shawn alexander or larry johnson telling all that they just need a veteran in the back field and that MJD is just a bad fit. I can’t wait to see this team next year

  11. how is not caving in to guy who was paid big bucks when he signed his contract and now wants more being arrogant? they sucked with him last year and will again this year if he plays or not. I applaued them for their attitude.

  12. I tell you what? Running yourself into the ground with a bad quarterback who cannot complete a pass nor stand up in the pocket for half of what lesser backs in the league are making doesn’t make much sense, either. He may have 2-5 good years left, but he is only going to get paid top back money for the next two years. He should try to get paid now.

  13. I don’t see the team’s stance as arrogant at all. Mojo signed a new contract two years ago, and he wants a new deal because he’s 27 (i.e., last big contract for a runner) and believes he’s outplayed the old one. He’s decided that staying away from the team is the best way to get it. Such is his prerogative.

    The Jags won’t touch his deal because he’s got two years left on it, and he’s about 55 in running back years–pushing elderly. They’re more than happy to go through camp without him, and even have the team’s unofficial mouthpiece (Prisco) write pieces about how coaches have never met Jones-Drew and are getting along just fine without him. They can quietly get the word out that he’ll be fined. Which is great and all, that’s their prerogative. If they are going to go on the attack publicly, though, good luck to the Smith/Mularkey regime in recruiting future free agents. All the other team would have to say is, “Remember what they did to Jones-Drew?”, and the seed of doubt is planted.

  14. I don’t think it is the Jaguars “bragging”. Prisco is no more the “official mouthpiece” of the team than you are of the Panthers. Much as you may wish you were. Lack of comprehension runs deep in Charlotte apparently.

  15. The Jag (offs) need as much help as they can get. Hiring Mularkey was the first wrong move. The 2nd wrong move appears to be not compensating the 2nd best Jaguar ever.

    No worries. Not like anyone expects the Jags to do “anything” except lose 12 or more games this year.

    Good times.

  16. Funny to see the bills fans bash on Mularkey, the last coach to lead them to a winning season in 2004, run out of town by a control freak GM….how’d that work out bills fans?

  17. MJD takes a lot of beating during the games. Sure, he has handled it so far and it is thrilling to watch but for how long can he hold up?

    If this was the MJD Jags an extension could be understood. It’s not. If he doesn’t like the situation with the Jags he should consider moving on.

    Seems to me like Mularkey is taking his job seriously and there is a lot of clean up to do after JDR.

    Well done Mike, keep up the good work.

  18. Jones-Drew only got as many yards last year becasue the Jaguars had the perfect storm. We had a loser coach, a rookie QB with no off season due to the lockout and several injuries. Now he wants to parlay that into more money instead of honoring the contract that he willingly signed. As a Jag fan I say “HELL NO”. And for all of you out there that are so quick to spend Kahn’s money, why don’t you start a collection and use your own money?

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