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2013 Jacksonville Jaguars Positional Outlook: Running Backs

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Contributor: David Chisholm
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Updated: 8/01/2013 4:17 pm

2013 POSITIONAL OUTLOOK:

RUNNING BACKS




#32 MAURICE JONES-DREW

GAMES

RUSHING

RECEIVING

SEASON

TEAM

G

GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

LNG

FUM

LOST

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

2006

JAC

16

1

166

941

5.7

13

74

2

0

46

436

9.5

2

2007

JAC

15

0

167

768

4.6

9

57

6

1

40

407

10.2

0

2008

JAC

16

3

197

824

4.2

12

46

2

2

62

565

9.1

2

2009

JAC

16

16

312

1391

4.5

15

80

2

1

53

374

7.1

1

2010

JAC

14

14

299

1324

4.4

5

37

6

2

34

317

9.3

2

2011

JAC

16

16

343

1606

4.7

8

56

2

2

43

374

8.7

3

2012

JAC

6

5

86

414

4.8

1

59

1

1

14

86

6.1

1

Total

 

99

55

1570

7268

4.6

63

80

21

9

292

2559

8.8

11

 

Let’s begin a year ago when Maurice Jones-Drew decided not to report to training camp in an effort to get a new contract. Jones-Drew tried to take advantage of leading the league in rushing and get a new deal, but with the market for running backs running dry no new deal was offered. Then he injured his left foot during the Jaguars' Week 7 loss against the Raiders and was placed on IR after surgery on his foot Dec. 28. During the offseason he was involved in an altercation at the Conch House on May 26. There were no charges against Jones-Drew for the incident but perhaps the most disturbing information was that the police report listed him as weighing 230 pounds.

The good news after a trying 12 months is that Jones-Drew reported healthy and on time to camp this year.

Now lies the great question for Jones-Drew this season, which Jones-Drew will the Jaguars get? The attrition rate for running backs into their late 20s is not good. We have good news on that front with his injury and holdout limiting his wear and tear last season, when he was 27. This could potentially set up a windfall situation for Jones-Drew and the Jaguars as his production could easily match that of his terrific 2011 season. If he does that the Jaguars will have a better season than last and Jones-Drew will be hitting the open market after another terrific season, albeit when he will be 29.

There are two other scenarios to watch for Jones-Drew this season.

The first is the trade deadline on Oct. 29, which occurs two days after the Jaguars week 8 game in London against the 49ers. If the Jaguars are out of playoff contention and Jones-Drew looks like 2011 Jones-Drew and not the 2012 version, GM David Caldwell would be hard pressed to keep him on the roster when he could walk for next to nothing at the end of the year.

The second scenario involves the Jaguars competing for a playoff spot, which would require a jump in performance by a quarterback. This would wipe off a potential trade of Jones-Drew if he is performing at a high level. It would also have far reaching implications into next season as the franchise tag could be in order to protect the Jaguars best running back from hitting the open market without receiving good compensation.

For Jones-Drew, this season will be all about how healthy he is. If he is healthy, there is no reason to think he can’t put up 2009-2010 numbers. If the offensive line can remain healthy and a quarterback makes a huge leap in production, Jones-Drew could very easily reach his career best season of 2011.

#29 DENARD ROBINSON

GAMES

RUSHING

RECEIVING

SEASON

TEAM

CLASS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

LNG

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

2009

MICH

FR

69

351

5.1

5

43

0

0

N/A

0

2010

MICH

SO

256

1702

6.6

14

87

0

0

N/A

0

2011

MICH

JR

221

1176

5.3

16

53

0

0

N/A

0

2012

MICH

SR

177

1266

7.2

7

79

3

31

10.3

0

Total

 

 

723

4495

6.2

42

262

3

31

10.3

0

The darling it seems from this rookie class was given the position of OW (offensive weapon) after primarily playing quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines. The number issued to Robinson (#29) appears to signal they are primarily going to use Robinson in a running back role. Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch should design a package of plays that will line him up all over the field in different formations.

At the combine, Robinson ran a very fast 4.43 second 40 yard dash as well as a quick 4.22 second 20 yard shuttle. He has very good top-end speed combined with good agility and burst through cuts which will serve him well this season.

Robinson also measured 5’10” and 199 pounds, which is good enough size for a situational receiving type running back.

The Jaguars are hoping that this combination (plus the possible threat of his arm in some packages) will create mismatches not only for Robinson but for receivers Shorts, Blackmon, Sanders, Shipley and Lewis.


#21 JUSTIN FORSETT

GAMES

RUSHING

RECEIVING

SEASON

TEAM

G

GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

LNG

FUM

LOST

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

2008

IND/SEA

14

0

0

0

N/A

0

0

0

0

0

0

N/A

0

2009

SEA

16

2

114

619

5.4

4

35

4

1

41

350

8.5

1

2010

SEA

16

5

118

523

4.4

2

32

0

0

33

252

7.6

0

2011

SEA

16

0

46

145

3.2

1

22

0

0

23

128

5.6

0

2012

HOU

16

0

63

374

5.9

1

81

0

0

3

38

12.7

0

Total

 

78

7

341

1661

4.9

8

81

4

1

100

768

7.7

1

 

The Jaguars signed Justin Forsett on March 15 looking to add a veteran into the competition to backup Maurice Jones-Drew. Forsett for his career has put up good numbers on limited usage. The Jaguars would be hard pressed to not break camp without him on the roster as he gives a veteran insurance behind Jones-Drew as well as protecting Denard Robinson from overexposure in just a running back role.

Forsett will also need to carve out a role on special teams to stick with the team (will be true for the rest of the guys on this list). He has been a productive specialist in his career, averaging 8.1 yards per punt return and 23.0 yards per kick return in his career. He last got an extended look at returning kicks in 2009 with the Seahawks.

Best-case scenario is he plays around 10-15 percent of the snaps on offense and can break off some flash and mirrors runs like the one he pulled off Thanksgiving Day against the Lions (thanks to Jim Schwartz not knowing the rules of the NFL).

#43 JONATHAN GRIMES

Undrafted rookie free agent last season that appeared on three teams' rosters. The Jaguars claimed him off waivers from the Houston Texans in December and he figures to need to become an ace special teamer to make the roster.

Grimes must take advantage of the carries he will receive in the preseason to take a larger role in the offense if he sticks. He still has practice squad eligibility.

#30 JORDAN TODMAN

Todman joined the Jaguars last season and had three carries for 8 yards after it seemed 15 people were injured in front of him. Right now he’s competing for a spot to get very limited carries as the fouth running back and a role on special teams.

#39 DE’LEON ESKRIDGE

Eskridge began his college career with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. After his sophomore season he transferred to San Jose State and sat out the 2011 season.

During his senior year he averaged 5.0 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns in the WAC. Eskridge has a lot to prove during camp and the preseason if he wants to make the team. He'll more than likely end up on the practice squad when Week 1 comes around.

 

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

c9bcrewman - 9/15/2013 9:44 PM
0 Votes
not much of a running game. lol or a passing game. lol
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