Maurice Jones Drew: Mike Mularkey Proving He Will Run Ball with or Without MoJo
Without the superstar RB, the Jags will employ Rashad Jennings, Montell Owens and likely either Jalen Parmele, Keith Tolston or Richard Murphy at the position. Regardless, if it’s last year’s leading rusher or a relatively unknown backup in the backfield, Mularkey has made it clear that this team will pound the rock.
According to Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union, the players on the team—especially the offense—have been told they need to toughen up, which is exactly why the Jags will be using a brutal running game.
“Coach Mularkey is all about being hard-nosed and nasty,” said guard Eben Britton. “We hear that over and over. Everyone is feeding off each other’s energy.”
As Frenette pointed out, the Jaguars have run the ball 131 times over the course of four preseason contests and racked up 656 yards, which is good for 5.0 yards per carry. They really emphasized the ground game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night, rushing 45 times for 225 yards.
Will the Jags have a respectable rushing attack without MoJo?
Perhaps Mularkey was sending a message to MJD, letting him know that this team doesn’t need a 27-year-old rusher with a lot of mileage. The coach seems to be just fine without him, and Jennings might be a more than adequate replacement.
Regardless of what happens with MoJo’s holdout, as long as the inexperienced Blaine Gabbert is under center and Mularkey is calling the plays, Jacksonville will be winning and losing games in the trenches in 2012.
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