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.