Blog Entry

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:42 am

Maurice Jones-Drew was right. He was better than I had him ranked on my list of the top-100 NFL players.

Jones-Drew took offense to me having him ranked fifth among NFL running backs when the list came out last spring. He was 37th overall. So I asked him where he'd rank himself among the backs.

"First," he said.

Right now, it's hard to argue that. Jones-Drew won the NFL rushing title Sunday, the first of his career, but the amazing thing is that he did without any help from the passing game. The Jaguars were last in the NFL in passing yards and Jones-Drew often had to do it against 8-man fronts.

Jones-Drew ran for 1,606 yards to win the rushing title. He ran for 169 yards against the Colts to win the title Sunday. Jones-Drew represented 44.7-percnet of the Jaguars offense this season.

That's way too much.

He needs help. Can you imagine what he could do if the Jaguars actually had a passing game? They will spend in free agency to fix that side of the ball, getting a couple of receivers likely and then also find a coach who isn't run-centric. 

Jones-Drew might not be as big a part of the offense going forward, but that wouldn't be a bad thing, He's getting far too many carries and taking far too many hits.

But, for now, it's hard to argue with his choice of where he should be in the NFL pecking order of backs.

There was nobody better in 2011.

---Matt Flynn is a player a quarterback-needy team should sign, with one caveat. It has to be a West Coast team. Flynn looked fantastic against the Lions Sunday, throwing six touchdown passes. He also threw for 480 yards. Flynn looked a lot like Aaron Rodgers with his ball-fakes and mannerisms. The difference is arm strength. He doesn't have a big arm, so the West Coast offense is what would work for him. He's a free agent who will get paid. Smart and accuracy are his strong points. 

---I've said all along that the Lions pass defense wasn't good enough, that the corners and secondary would be their undoing. In the second half of the season, that defense has been horrible. Can you imagine how excited Drew Brees is to face them again?

---The more and more I hear is that former Titans coach Jeff Fisher will be the Rams coach now that Steve Spagnuolo is fired. Fisher has ties to the Rams and is close with several people in the organization.

----Name to consider in some spots is Jim Haslett, Redskins defensive coordinator. He will get a sniff for some of the head-coaching spots. And he should.

---I love the idea that Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis is this secret candidate in Jacksonville. That's been known for a while -- even mentioned in several spots here. General manager Gene Smith really likes DeCamillis. 

---Where are all the good, young offensive coordinators? That's the trouble with trying to find a coach this season. That's why Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden will get a shot, even though he's in his first season running the Cincinnati offense. 

---The Patriots tight ends are sensational. Rob Gronkowski had the best season ever for a tight end. But the Patriots have to get more from their outside passing game come playoff time. The field shrinks and teams will double Gronkowski. 

----The Jets need to upgrade at outside linebacker and safety. You can have the great corners, but if you can't cover on the back end and combine it with an inability to get tot the passer, you will have trouble on defense. Eric Smith is bad in the back end and the Jets don't have a reliable outside rusher in their 3-4 defense.

---The more I watch the Saints offense, the more I am convinced they made a bad move to trade into the first round to draft running back Mark Ingram last year. He's out with a toe injury, and they don't miss him at all. A grinder back isn't nearly as valuable in the Saints offense as he is in other offenses. Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles are perfect for what the Saints do. They should have used that pick on a defensive player if they were going to make the move.

---The Tim Tebow chatter sure has quieted down. That's because he's not winning. It's because he's turning the ball over and it's because he can't pass the football. I stuck to my evaluation on him when everybody else was caving. So who was right? Is Tebow the long-term answer? Not a chance. It's sad almost to watch him play quarterback. Playoffs or not, the Broncos have to know they need to get a franchise passer.

---I spent a five days with the Rams last summer, with the idea they were a team on the rise. Oops. They had far too many injuries this season and the early schedule was brutal. But with Sam Bradford and the second pick in the draft next spring, they have a nice foundation in place. There is a good group of core players there. That makes it an attractive job.

---The Jets had two pass plays of 40 yards or more this season from Mark Sanchez. How did those moves to add old-and-slow receivers Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason work out? Mason is working in television now, if that tells you anything.


Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:26 pm

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

In regards to the Saints drafting Ingram, they had to draft a running back. Both Thomas and Ivory had foot surgery so it wasn't a given that they would be healthy and the draft happened before free agency so they couldn't have known they would get Sproles. The only thing that was certain was that they were not going to pay the remainder of Bush's contract so he was going to be gone. If reporting was my job, I would get the facts straight before I print garbage.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:13 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Pete. you say it's it's "hard to argue" against Jones-Drew being the #1 RB.  I'd say he's 2nd behind Ray Rice.  Rice has 2068 yds and 15 TDs compared to Jones-Drew's 1980 yds and 11 TDs.  Rice had the same or better average yards per touch for rushing and for receiving behind a battered O-line that never played completely together in the preseason and missed key guys like Grubbs and Birk for parts of the season.  And Rice blocks at least as well as Jones-Drew.

And when it came time to making the big play in big games Rice came through when it counted - most recently with 70 and 51 yd TD runs last week to clinch the 2nd seed in the AFC.

Finally: although fantasy points don't alone show value, they're a good indication: Ray Rice had 285 fantasy points and Maurice Jones-Drew had 249.  Ray Rice outscored Jone-Drew 8 to 5 with 2 ties the 15 weeks they both played.

Back in August I had the 1st draft pick in one of my fantasy leagues and, because I had an ad-blocking program set wrong, I couldn't get my online draft window to work until 78 seconds before the draft began!  I quickly commented about it and other owners said it probably didn't matter since it was obvious who to pick first and the auto-computer would have given me Peterson.  Then I shocked them by picking Ray Rice.  I ended up 2nd seed in the playoffs.

I've made the wrong 1st round picks in the past, but that time I was right: Ray Rice is #1!

Since: Jul 18, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:57 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

iff you think alex smith is going to bring the whiners a superbowl, you must be smoking the good stuff

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 5:05 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

yeah those 4 wins (im not counting the last game because the colts werent stupid enough to blow that one and the jags may have just lost blackman too with that "win")  really made this team significant???? NOT.  nancy drew is as revelant as adrian peterson with "all of his meaningless yards"

prisco, its time you focused on a player that is REALLY deserving and its not nancy (or the blow) and that 5th ranked d...continue the relevancy with sacrcasm

Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:26 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Amen Brother, and God Bless Tebow...

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:07 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

if anyone thinks Drew Brees is going to come out to Candlestick park and threw TDs around like New Years Confetti on this defene - you are sadly mistaken.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:38 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Hmm? Prisco giving praise to a runningback? I thought they were "worthless" Prisco?

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:40 pm

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Ingram was leading the NFL in conversions for first down and allowed Ivory to get healthy.

Prisco really is a Long Island Hack; the lack of respect for CBS Sports swells...

and he is one of many reasons why ESPN still have viewers...

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:23 pm

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

This column is tainted. After the fact and after the season Prisco runs up the criticism on the Saints when Ingram is already on IR. Congratulations to Prisco on a fine column, but the whole thing will be forever tainted.

Since: Nov 5, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:22 pm

Monday Musings: By the little man Pete Prisco

You're still a physical & mental midget little man Pete Prisco.............and always will be!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or