Maurice Jones-Drew will be third-down back in Week One


Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is going to play against the Vikings.

He won’t be starting, though. Rashard Jennings will remain in that role for the Jaguars while Jones-Drew takes on a third-down back in the first game of the season. That was the word from coach Mike Mularkey on Monday, the first day that Jones-Drew practiced with the team. Drew took between 10-15 snaps during the session and Mularkey said that the team would have a better idea later in the week just how many reps they’ll expect from the tailback. The question is one of physical preparedness.

“His body has to get back in condition to taking the hits,” said Mularkey, via Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. “I didn’t see anything mentally that slowed him down.”

While the rest of us try to sort out who won and who lost in the dispute between Jones-Drew and the team, the focus in Jacksonville should only be on making sure the Jaguars win as much as possible going forward. Having Jones-Drew back in the offense, in whatever amount, is a pretty good way for them to go about doing that.

32 responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew will be third-down back in Week One

  1. No problem, this will allow the Jags to get used to playing without him. After the 1.2 million in fines he racked up, it isn’t like they will be paying his salary for the first 4 weeks anyway.

    The Jags will trade him before his next deal. Khan is just waiting for the iron to get hot.

  2. Is anybody else a bit confused by all of this? Why wouldn’t you start MJD? Are they punishing him? There’s no way he’s not ready, he wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t ready.

  3. Drew needs to fire his agent for negotiating a deal which did not have an escape clause nor incentives for outperforming his contract. This was his last chance to get a big deal. In two years, they’ll either cut him our he’ll be playing for league minimum.

  4. Didn’t realize he was your prototypical third down back, but ok. How about splitting carries 60%/40% or so between Jennings and MJD, that way you have two horses who both stay fresh the whole game. That, plus the fines is punishment enough.

  5. @matthewcarlson1

    “Is anybody else a bit confused by all of this? Why wouldn’t you start MJD?”

    Not at all confused. It is an entirely new offense that he has to learn in one week. It is not so much about which running hole to hit, but playing a good pass rushing team like the Vikings, it is more about which protection schemes he has to learn.

    I suspect he will be much more than a third down back, however. In fact, I would be surprised if he didn’t touch the ball at least 15-20 times.

  6. Also, Rashad Jennings is no slouch. The guy can flat out play football.

    If the Jags didn’t have Rashad Jennings, you can be sure that MJD would probably start.

  7. They should withhold half of his game check for not being ready to play Game 1 at full speed. Seriously.

    Two years on the contract, then either franchise tag or goodbye.

    Frankly, I think we haven’t seen the end of this saga yet and it may get even uglier.

  8. The Jags really need to waive the fines on him or expect to never sign any big name guys during free agency no one will want to go to a team who doesn’t treat their players right

  9. This whole thing has to be one of the most disastrous holdouts/contract disputes I’ve ever seen. He lost, and lost big. But, he’s out there saying he did the “right thing” and that he doesn’t regret what happened. LOL. You’re a laughing stock, and Khan’s balls are 5 sizes bigger by now.

  10. Football shape is what it’s all about. I don’t care how much he has worked out. Your muscles and joints have to acclimate to having random massive bodies colliding with yours at different speeds and in different places. If I were a coach I don’t know if him getting any game reps right now is a good thing or not. Especially since they can’t hit in practice.

    Also we all know the Jags see tons of third downs lol. MJD could get more reps than the coaches are predicting!! J/P. Gabbert has looked better this year and hopefully he will continue to progress.

  11. @huskersrock1 : You wrote: “The Jags will trade him before his next deal. Khan is just waiting for the iron to get hot.”

    The man is the NFL Rushing Title holder. He accounted for 43% of the teams total yards. Nobody has dont that since O.J. in 1973.

    The iron has never been hotter. Go back to watching your Cornhuskers.

  12. 90% of free agents sign because the the amount of money on the dotted line, they aren’t going to give a crap about how MJD was treated, because they will think “that could never happen to ME, I am too valuable.”

    They will look at the value of the contract and sign.

  13. johnnyjagfan

    The iron will be hotter after he starts producing again and memories of this hold out fade, or when the the first big name running bck gets injured on a team with playoff potential.

  14. “While the rest of us try to sort out who won and who lost in the dispute between Jones-Drew and the team”

    What’s there to sort out? MJD got owned.

  15. treydeck says:Sep 3, 2012 7:20 PM

    Something tells me he will play a lot.I see this team in many third down situations with the scared surfer they have under center…..

    I don’t know…I’m only expecting one third down per drive, quickly followed by a fourth down.

  16. WE got our MOJO backkk!!

    The best 1-2 punch in the NFL:
    Homerun Threats, MJDreeeeeeew & Jennings
    Best FB Greg Jones
    Gabbert to Blackmon
    Gabbert to Robinson
    Gabbert to Thomas
    Gabbert to Lewis
    Top 3 Rushing OL with improved Pass Protection
    A Top 10 Defense
    Clutch K Josh Scobee
    AFC Best (rookie) P Brian Anger
    TOP ST ACE Montell Owens
    2012 NFL Surprise Team

  17. To be even that specific is dumb…why not just say he’s gonna play, I’m sure the defense and knowlegable football fans would figure that out…stupid

  18. 49ersgiants4life:

    “The Jags really need to waive the fines on him or expect to never sign any big name guys during free agency no one will want to go to a team who doesn’t treat their players right”

    Oh, the poor uneducated masses sounds off again…

    Please explain how if the Jags fine him that it is not treating him right? I’m certain you remember the CBA signed by the players last year? You know, the one where the players agreed to allow teams to fine players up to $30k per day if they hold out…yeah that one…

    Also please explain how else the Jags treated him unfairly? If you mean when they tore up his rookie deal two years ago to give him a new deal; a (frontloaded) deal that was one of the richest deals for a RB at the time. Do not forget that he was not even the starting back at the time (Fred Taylor was) and he had never rushed for 1,000 yds in a season. Yeah, they really did him dirty…

    BTW…FAs will go to whomever will pay them at the time. A big name and big $ FA is not usually one that I would want anyway. Those seem to be disappointing (ask Washington). Good teams build through the draft and patch in “cheap” free agency; they also do not over pay their stars in their latter years (see New England, Green Bay and Pittsburgh).

    Thank you for wowing us with your Jaguar and NFL knowledge.

  19. Husker:

    The truth of today’s NFL is that veteran players do not have much trade value. Why do you think the Colts released Peyton Manning? MJD has little trade value and thus a trade would be highly unlikely. I’m not saying he has no value, just little trade value. This is not MLB. Draft picks are worth too much in the league for teams to part with them.

    Also, Khan is the owner. He does not trade anyone. That is the job of GM Gene Smith.

  20. This has all the making for a great game…

    Peterson on limited reps, MJD playing 3rd downs, Ponder and Gabbert, two terrible teams a year ago…

    Guess we are getting CBS’ D-team, and that isn’t short for dream team.

    Are you hungry or are you starving?

  21. I thought both sides gained something out of the situation. From the Jags POV, they got to take a long look at Rashad Jennings as the featured back and that was a positive. They made a statement regarding contract negotiations, and showed the rest of the team that no individual gets special treatment. Also it facilitated the passing of the torch from MJD to Gabbert as leader of the offense.

    From MoJo’s point, he saved himself the largely unneccesary wear and tear of training camp, and fired his first bullet across the bow. I think Moj is about 50/50 on whether he prefers more money to stay in Jax or a trade to another team. Either way he accelerated the process by sitting out. I don’t imagine the fine was all that onerous because the Jags need his positive presence in the dressing room, and they want him ready to take over the running duties if needed or be attractive trade bait.

    It will all work out to the ultimate benefit of both parties.

  22. Less chance of an injury?? You can bank on him getting injured, due to not being in game shape, and missing aditional games. Probably exactly what he wants!!

  23. MJD crawls back with his tail between his legs slapped down a peg or two after seriously miscalcutaing his bargaining position. Even his agent told him weeks ago to go back in. Super Ego and thickheadedness never works in business.

  24. Suicide prevention clinics within the Vikings /Jaguars cable viewing areas are adding extra staff this weekend.

  25. So what’s the over/under on MJD getting hurt on Sunday? I don’t think this is a smart move by Jackonsville. He needs to sit until he gets a couple of weeks of practices under his belt.

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