MJD + Holdout = National Coverage
By Daniel Lago
Jaguar fans must think they woke up in Bizarro World because Jacksonville is suddenly a topic on ESPN and other national media outlets. For that, we can thank one man – Maurice Jones-Drew.
The national perception of the Jaguars has been discussed in depth here on B&T and most legitimate Jaguars sites/blogs. The fact of the matter is that until the Jaguars start winning some games, the obligatory national mention of the team will be accompanied with a jab at Blaine Gabbert, some sort of “pity” for Maurice Jones-Drew for playing on such a bad team, and a half-assed joke about the team moving to Los Angeles.
Not surprisingly, the coverage of Mojo’s holdout can be boiled down to the following:
“Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out, the Jaguars better pay him, he’s all they’ve got.”
“Mojo is holding out; ergo, concordantly, vis-à-vis the Jaguars are moving to L.A.”
Any time I can link a clip of Will Ferrell, I have to do it.
While this provides more fodder to lay the wood on the Jaguars, in reality, Mojo’s holdout is a non-story. I mean, the end of this “saga” isn’t going to be very interesting. Our own Luke Sims and Alfie Crow on SBNation did a good job of breaking down the situation. The way I see it, there are three possible outcomes.
1. Jones-Drew sits out the first week or two of training camp and returns well before the start of the regular season.
This scenario is essentially no different than if Mojo reported to camp yesterday. Jones-Drew generally doesn’t get driven into the ground during the training camp or preseason. If he gets into camp with enough time to learn the offense, there really shouldn’t be any lingering effects from the holdout.
2. Jones-Drew sits out the entire preseason and comes back right before the start of the regular season.
This only happens if Jones-Drew is willing to cough up $30,000 a day for missing camp but not willing to give up a game-day check. Without much experience in the new offense, Jones-Drew is likely going to lose a lot of reps at the beginning of the season to Rashad Jennings. Quite frankly, I don’t think this is a problem. This is going to put the onus on Blaine Gabbert and the passing offense, which is how it should be. Jones-Drew could be eased into the offense slowly, allowing the Jaguars to establish a potent two-headed force in the backfield that compliments the passing game rather than dominating the play count like so many years before.
Jennings should get some more chances to improve his touchdown dance.
3. Jones-Drew decides to sit out games during the regular season, possibly up to week 10.
Jones-Drew missing any regular season games would be downright shocking. Maurice would be leaving a lot of money on the table and his relationship with both the team and the fans would take a massive hit. I think the Jaguars could still manage to have a successful season on the field, but the more significant damage this would cause would be to the team’s perception. Regardless of whether the team plays well or poorly, any mention of the Jaguars will be prefaced by “Still without their leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew, …”
If that’s the worst result from this holdout… then who cares? We’re at the point where the perception of the Jaguars nationally couldn’t be much worse and, as it’s been stated many times before, that perception won’t change until we win some damn games.
If you ask me, it sounds like that time is coming very soon. So let’s ignore the irony of my entire article and stop caring about a stupid holdout.
It’s time for some football.
– Daniel Lago