Tag:Maurice Jones-Drew
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:42 am

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

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.

Posted on: November 16, 2009 5:56 pm

Monday Musings

---I know people are raving about Maurice Jones-Drew going down at the 1-yard line instead of scoring late in the Jaguars' victory over the Jets, and I liked it too. But I think the Jaguars should have tried to score a touchdown with a sneak with 20 seconds left, rather than wait to kick a field goal on the last play. Why risk a bad snap? I know it's an extra point, but anything can happen. Jones-Drew made the right decision, and coach Jack Del Rio was smart in telling him to do it, but after that let the clock run down and then sneak it in. If not, then you kick the field goal. It was a risky decision to put it on the final kick. By the way, the Jaguars are 5-4 with a soft schedule that just might get that team into playoff contention. If they make it, it would be an amazing job with that young roster.

---I'm starting to think Reggie Wayne is every bit as good as Marvin Harrison was in his prime. That touchdown catch he made to beat the Patriots Sunday night was amazing. What's even more amazing is that he called the audible on that play. The play call was a fade, but Wayne tried that earlier in the game and it was well defended. So he looked over to Peyton Manning and shook his head. "I did my C.C. Sabathia and shook him off," Wayne said. He gave Manning the signal for a slant. He ran it inside and Manning threw a dart that Wayne pulled in for a score. Sensational. Does Wayne ever get his due for being a great receiver?

---Word is some Patriots players were grumbling to the Colts players about Bill Belichick's decision to go for the first down late in the game on fourth-and-2 rather than punting. The defensive players weren't happy, even if they didn't say so in the locker room.

---Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is struggling. He has 10 interceptions in the past five games. Ryan is doing more on offense than he did last season, but he doesn't look as sharp. Ryan has to get it going in the final seven games. With Michael Turner out for a couple of weeks with a high-ankle sprain and Jerious Norwood already on the sidelines, Ryan will have to do even more. Jason Snelling will take over as the lead back. He is more of a grinder than a breakaway threat.

---When you watch the Cincinnati Bengals defense, one of the players who constantly shows up is defensive end Jonathan Fanene. He had two sacks of Ben Roethlisberger Sunday and seemed to be in the backfield a lot. He is an effort player who makes the most of his abilities. He isn't a pure speed rusher, but he knows how to get to the quarterback. The Bengals have done a nice job up front after losing Antwan Odom for the season.

----Keep an eye on Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne. Since taking over for Lofa Tatupu, he has been a pleasant surprise. The guy has a nose for the football.

---I guess with Jon Gruden signing a long-term deal with ESPN it means he isn't coming back to coaching. That's one less out-of-work coach that current guys have to worry about. But there are still plenty, including Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren.

----The Panthers take a big hit in losing left tackle Jordan Gross. He is their best offensive lineman. Gross suffered a broken ankle in Carolina's victory over Atlanta Sunday.

---So the end of LaDainian Tomlinson's career is a little premature. Tomlinson ran well against the Eagles Sunday and showed real pop.

---With a defense that was having all kinds of problems stopping the Chargers, why did Eagles coach Andy Reid opt for a field goal down 14 on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the second quarter? I think that was a bad decision.

---Beanie Wells is starting to look like the back the Cardinals thought he might become when they drafted him in the first round. He runs with power.

---The Bengals are bringing in Larry Johnson. That's a decent move, if he has his head on. They need a runner to help Benson out. He might borrow a page from Benson. Stay focused and shut your mouth and good things can happen.

---Who knew Bud Adams even knew what giving the finger meant?

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 15, 2009 10:43 am

Drew agrees to new deal

 Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurce Jones-Drew has agreed to a new five-year contract extension, one that will make him one of the highest-paid players on the team. The team will announce the move later today.

Jones-Drew, who was entering the final year of his contract, had been absent from the Jaguars' offseason workouts because of his unhappiness with the Jaguars offer. But late Tuesday, the two sides agreed to a deal. Jones-Drew will be the team's featured runner with the depature of Fred Taylor.


Category: NFL
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