At a mere 5'7", he was expected to be a situation third down back to give starter Fred Taylor an occasional rest.
Jones-Drew proved very quickly to have the strength and conditioning to be on the field on any play, along with special teams.
He has scored an amazing 42 touchdowns in just 50 career games including the playoffs. To prove his versatility, five of those came from receiving while another two occurred on special teams.
During this recent off-season, the Jaguars released Fred Taylor and signed Jones-Drew to an extension that will keep him a Jaguar for years to come. These are the questions I would ask Maurice Jones-Drew in a one-on-one interview.
Question one: The Jaguars recently ripped up your rookie contract and rewarded you with a new five year deal that makes you one of the five highest paid players at your position in the NFL. Are you feeling any pressure to "live up" to your contract or are you more empowered by the message it sent to you and the organization?
Question two: Upon entereing the league, you chose the number thirty-two for your jersey to constantly remind yourself and the opposing team of how many teams overlooked you before being drafted in the NFL. With the success you've had and the new contract, do you still carry a chip on your shoulder?
Question three: Offensive Lineman Eben Britton was recently drafted by the Jaguars in the second round of the 2009 draft. Shortly after, Britton stated "every team that passed on me will regret it for the rest of the history of their franchise.” Aside from the joy of knowing this man will be blocking for you, when you heard this were you impressed or embarrassed knowing that you sounded like that three years ago?
Question four: Fred Taylor was a mentor and friend to you for your entire NFL career. What was your initial reaction when you learned Fred would be released and what changes have you made to your routine so you will be ready to be the primary running back for the Jags?
Question five: Give us your early impression of Rashad Jennings, the bruising running back drafted by the Jaguars in the seventh round this year from small Liberty University?
Question six: Whick of the following plays "pump" you up most during a game...a long play, a touchdown, or a play in which you run over and through a tackler?
Question seven: The Jaguars recently held a major news conference to show off the new uniforms for this season. You, along with some other teammates, walked the runway to model the new uniforms for the press. What is your opinion of the new uniforms and will this experience lead to further modeling jobs?
Question eight: Jaguar players over the years have enjoyed Jacksonville for the golf, fishing, and hunting that it offers. What are some of your off-the-field activities and is there one that you would like to try that you haven't yet?
Question nine: With the release of Fred Taylor, along with many other high-priced or troubled veterans, you are being expected to step up and become a team leader both on the field and in the locker room. Even with your short experience in the league, are you ready to become the "Face of the Franchise"?
Question ten: Finally, What will be your biggest motivation for the 2009 Jacksonville Jaguar football season?:
1) Living up to your contract expectations?
2) Getting the Jags back to the playoffs?
3) Getting on the cover of " Madden 2011"?