If there’s one thing that people associate with the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s a great running game. With the 2013 season just around the corner and training camps just underway around the league, it remains to be seen just what the Jaguars backfield will look like. The Key name is Maurice Jones Drew, who is coming into his 8th season with the Jaguars and is coming off a down year in which he only played in six games because of a nagging foot injury. Pair that with some off the field issues, and Drew’s status with the team was in question.
In 2011 Drew rushed for 1,606 yards on 343 carries and 8 touchdowns, the best of his career. Heading into the 2013 season the Jags look for Drew to return to form, and coming into training camp 100 percent for the first time in a while and a desire to hit the field are great signs.
Looking at the other running backs currently on roster for the Jags are Justin Forsett, Jordan Todman, Jonathan Grimes, De’leon Eskridge. Former Houston Texan Justin Forsett has been receiving great praise over the off-season from coaches, and if Drew is unable to be the great back he’s been in the past, many think that he will be able to carry the load. Forsett is coming into his 7th season in the NFL, and his first as a Jaguar. Forsett has always been seen as a backup, with his best year statistically coming with the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 in which he rushed for 619 yards on 114 carries.
With the season just around the corner, the Jags will be looking to build depth behind Drew and decrease the amount of wear and tear on their number 1 back. We see now-a-days in the NFL a 2 running back system can be very beneficial, and a back such as Forsett could create different packages that Rashad Jennings and Montel Owens did in past years for the Jags. Another name that will be seen in the backfield is rookie Denard Robinson, former quarterback of the Michigan Wolverines. Bringing a dual threat to the Jaguars offense, Robinson will undoubtedly get his own plays in the offense and create a wildcat package the Jags have never had.
With the first pre-season game a couple weeks away, the Jags will slowly reveal their plans for the offense and what backs will be a part of it. One thing is for sure, with a healthy Maurice Jones Drew the Jags offense will be much improved from a year ago, and it’s these signs that bring at least a little promise to the 2013 season.