We’ve chatted a lot about the prospect of Rashad Jennings starting for the Jaguars this season. The guy can play, has the explosiveness of young legs, is a big presence, can power through tacklers, and can receive out of the backfield. We’ve looked at the winning percentage of the Jaguars with Maurice Jones-Drew taking the majority of the snaps. Despite averaging a bit over 40%, MJD makes the Jaguars look good by being one of the most dominant runners in the league.
Yet with Jones-Drew holding out, we do focus a lot more on whether the Jaguars can have a successful running game without him. It is the opinion of this writer that they can be successful without him. Does this make him expendable? John Oehser at Jaguars.com does not think that he is.
Jennings’ play has been very good thus far. He flashed in the scrimmage on Friday and has shown that he can be a workhorse when called upon. Averaging more than five yards a carry is impressive and it appears that the guy can do everything from out of the backfield. Yet is he better than MJD? Can the Jags move beyond the Jones-Drew era?
Whether it’s trading MJD for Mike Wallace, draft picks, or some other compensation can the Jaguars live without him. As much as I appreciate Mr. Oehser’s writing and insight I do think that the drop-off between MJD and Jennings does make him expendable. Every day that Jones-Drew holds out, the Jaguars realize that they can move on from him.
Jennings isn’t some young stallion waiting in the wings. He is the same age as Jones-Drew and will probably serve as a stopgap between the reigning rushing champion and somebody else. I like MJD, I like Jennings, I like the way they help alleviate pressure for Blaine Gabbert and Co, but I think we are seeing a look to the future for the Jaguars.
No longer is it Maurice Jones-Drew’s team, a new identity is being forged.
That identity may not take full form until Jones-Drew’s contract runs out, but the front office has got to seriously be considering whether they need Pocket Hercules after his contract does expire.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims