Rashad Jennings: Why 2012 Could Be a Huge Year for the Jaguars Runningback
He ran with the ball, caught footballs out of the backfield and returned kicks; basically whatever the team asked of him.
Now that MJD is sitting in California (yes, I am going to harp on that every time I write about him), enjoying the sun, talking on Sirius radio and talking about other endeavors, Rashad Jennings is proving he can take up the slack for the Jaguars' starter and the NFL's reigning rushing champion.
His play Friday night at the Jaguars scrimmage proved he is just as capable of running, catching and moving the chains as his counterpart. While Jennings (drafted in 2009) is not the bowling ball of a runner that MJD is, his larger frame and strong legs churn through a defense, much like a Fred Taylor or a Jamaal Charles.
I'm not saying Jennings is in the same league, but he could be a nice surprise for this team, even when and if the team gets its star player back on the field.
“I feel I’m a contributor to this football team, and I’m going to play my heart out every time I’m asked to be in the game," Jennings said in an article on jacksonville.com.
“In order to be a great running back, you have to be good at all phases. That’s to be able to run the ball. That’s to be able to protect the quarterback. That’s to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield and play smart," he added from the story.
The NFL has gotten to be a league where two quality runners are needed on a team for diversity and support in case of injury. Last year, it was thought that Jennings would be the ideal backup to MJD, but an injury in the preseason put the Liberty running back on the injured reserve list for the entire season.
This year might be a shot of redemption for Jennings and the Jaguars' offense.
Jennings, if he produces in the regular season like he is now presents an interesting option for the team. Since MJD is holding out for more money with two years left on his contract, which makes him one of the Top 10 highest paid running backs in the league, is scheduled to make more than $4 million this year and next year while Jennings is in the third year of a four-year $1.788 million contract with the team, could the Jaguars be getting more with less?
That is highly unlikely, but if the team were to eventually trade the disgruntled star, they may be in good hands or legs behind Blaine Gabbert and the Jaguars newly revamped offense.
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