5-foot-7, 28-years old, and coming off a limited season due to a holdout and rehabbing a fractured foot to top it all off. That doesn’t sound like an elite NFL player, let alone an elite NFL running back.
But, in 2013, that’s exactly what Maurice Jones-Drew looks to prove he can be.
After holding out until early September last year, Jones-Drew appeared to be on his way to another successful season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Having averaged nearly five yards per carry and compiling 414 yards in his first six games, there were no evident signs of rust due to missing training camp.
However, Jones-Drew fractured his foot in Week 6 and was forced to sit out the rest of the season. The Jaaguars’ offense in turn, became fairly one-dimensional and, well, they put up Jaguar-like numbers on the score board most of the time.
Going into 2013, a few questions will arise surrounding the All-Pro tailback. First of all, is he happy? Last season, he made it clear he didn’t want to be in Jacksonville unless they were going to give him a hefty contract. Hey, you’d have to pay me a gigantic amount of money if I’m a Pro Bowl running back and you asked me to play in Jacksonville too.
Secondly, will Jones-Drew be able to come back as the same type of player? With such a small, bulky and strong frame, he has depended on his leg strength to truck through piles of tacklers. It will be interesting to see if he can attain the same type of success through that style of play going into this next year.
Jones-Drew recently got his boot taken off his foot and says he plans to be ready for the season in Week 1. Hopefully, for the sake of Jaguar fans, he is ready and willing to keep dishing out punishment on the ground.