The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed running back Bernard Pierce after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens following a DUI arrest in mid march. Pierce is coming off a disappointing season in Baltimore where he only ran for 366 yards on 93 rushes, his subpar 3.9 yards per carry in 2014 could be another reason why the Ravens decided to cut ties with him. Going into the 2014 season, Pierce was expected to be the number 1 running back after the Ray Rice incident but he was outplayed by former Jaguar Justin Forsett.
"If the Jags can kickstart his career and get him back to his rookie form then there could be something here. Then again, there’s no reason to think a guy who just got a DUI and was kicked off his team after just three seasons is about to kickstart his career. Is there something special in the water in Jacksonville that will screw his head on right?"
Coming to Jacksonville will give Pierce exactly what he needs, a fresh start. He is in a new environment, with new teammates, and more importantly he isn’t expected to be the number 1 running back on the roster. He doesn’t have to face the expectations that he endured after being drafted in the third round. Like most depth players on the Jaguars roster, Pierce was brought into Jacksonville for one reason, to compete. He is now a part of what is turning into a very crowded running back position in Jacksonville. All signs point towards 2nd round pick T.J. Yeldon being the Jaguars starting running back, and it seems Denard Robinson will get the second most touches after showing the ability to make big plays last season.
So what opportunity does that leave for Bernard Pierce? I think Bernard Pierce has the chance to compete with Toby Gerhart and Storm Johnson to be the Jaguars short yardage and goal line back. T.J. Yeldon does seem to have the potential to be an all purpose running back but its unlikely that the Jaguars make him carry the load in his rookie season. The Jaguars have already said that they plan to use Toby Gerhart more like a hybrid fullback, so that should leave Bernard Pierce and Storm Johnson to compete for third running back position on the Jaguars depth chart.
I personally expect Bernard Pierce to beat out Storm Johnson and get around 5 carries per game. He’s shown the ability to be a bruising running back which will ensure that the Jaguars don’t overload T.J. Yeldon in his rookie season. Also, since the Jaguars claimed Pierce in March it will give him the opportunity to have a full offseason to learn the Jaguars system and build chemistry with his new teammates. I personally think the Jaguars made a great move in claiming Bernard Pierce and there is little to no risk in this signing so once again, thank you David Caldwell.
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