Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart saw their roles flip during the 2014 season. Robinson proved that he had what it takes to be an NFL-caliber running back and Gerhart fell from grace due to injury and a failure to perform on the football field.
Neither of them were incredibly impressive last season, so it made sense when the Jacksonville Jaguars brought in former Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Yeldon is expected to come in and immediately get the most touches as a true workhorse running back.
Considering that both Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart are being forced down the depth chart, it is understandable if that caused a distraction this offseason. So far, however, it looks like the two running backs are more focused on getting ready for the 2015 season rather than on where they stack up on the depth chart. “”I just think about me doing the best I can do and showing what I can and what I’m capable of,” says Robinson per ESPN’s Michael DiRocco.
This is a continued trend of professionalism from Jaguars players under head coach Gus Bradley. They all know the goal is to just keep getting better for the entire team and that roster spots aren’t “saved” for those players who have been around longer – especially on a team that has so many young players cycling through roles right now.
Getting ready for 2015 isn’t just about going through the motions, however. Football is a tough sport and frequently players aren’t at their top form for a full season. Toby Gerhart is one of those guys and he’s excited to get back on the football field at 100% saying, “I feel healthy for the first time since last September. Feeling good and excited to go out there and be healthy and fresh this spring and show what I can do and compete.” While Gerhart wasn’t particularly impressive at the start of last season, it will be good to have another fully healthy running back on the roster in 2015, rather than the beaten down and hobbling Gerhart we saw for most of last year.
With a new year comes new roles and new responsibilities. Both Gerhart and Robinson are accepting of those new opportunities and working to be the best they can in those capacities. They’re focused on getting ready and not on how their roles have changed and that’s a good thing for the Jaguars.
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