In school, there are a lot of different types of students that you cross paths with. There are some students that just don’t care and ultimately fail, drop out, or just scrape by. There are some students that do just enough to get by, despite having tons of potential. There are some students that excel at everything they do. Then there are some that are obviously smart and able to succeed, but just get stuck in a bad home, class or situation.
The latter of those cases is quite similar to the case of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew for the upcoming 2013 NFL season. Jones-Drew is one of the most talented players in the league, but he’s stuck in an absolutely abysmal situation.
Jones-Drew had his real breakout season in 2009 when he rushed for 1,391 yards on 312 carries and 15 touchdowns. He was an absolute monster. In the two years after that, Jones-Drew rushed form 1,324 yards and 1,606 yards respectively. Coming into last season, he worried many people as he held out for a contract, but was the starter for the Jags in week one.
However, he suffered a mid-foot fracture in week seven of the season and subsequently missed the rest of year. Because of that he finished with just 414 yards on 86 carries, which would have put him on pace for another phenomenal season. Expectations are that he will be fully healthy and ready to go for week one in 2013, though.
Though the team may be at full-health, they are still a franchise that has a long way to go before they are successful. They finished last season with a record of just 2-14 and, despite solid draft picks, still have one of the worst overall defenses in the league and a pretty paltry Blaine Gabbert led offense outside of Jones-Drew.
Essentially, the star running back deserves a ton of sympathy from fans of football. He’s arguably a top-five back in the entire league, but he’s stuck on a largely incompetent team with no real help around him. That means defenses can focus on him and that there’s no one to help shoulder the burden for the team. All in all, that’s a pretty awful position to be in.