Chicago Sun-Times

Maurice Jones-Drew: "You always want to be the main guy"

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Jacksonville Jaguars All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew respects new Bears running back Michael Bush. Jones-Drew also, obviously, respects Bears starting running back Matt Forte, one of his close NFL friends.

But Jones-Drew said in a video teleconference Wednesday night that any running back prefers to be the featured back in an act.

"You always want to be the main guy," Jones-Drew said. "It's something every kid dreams of being. No one ever dreams of being the backup.

"What I told [Forte] was, 'It's going to be a healthy competition, because you know Michael Bush is going to come in, wanting take your job, and you have to fend him off.' "

Jones-Drew said he had to do that with Rashad Jennings, his backup in Jacksonville, who has averaged a healthy 5.4 yards per run.

"It's been a tough job for me," Jones-Drew said of holding off Jennings. "But that's how you have to perform. If you don't perform, they're going to find someone else that can do your job for you. I think Matt Forte is going to do a great job. He's up for the competition. I expect great things for him."

Jones-Drew is currently holding out, insisting that the Jaguars re-work a contract that is scheduled to play him $4.45 million this season.

But on Wednesday night, Jones-Drew attracted a media crowd during a DirecTV promotional appearance via, a video teleconferencing site. The primary function was for Jones-Drew to answer fantasy football questions, although he fielded some general ones, as well.

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Funny that MJD is telling Forte to do his job as a backup, but refuses to do his job in Jax.

Finally someone telling it like it is, of course a running back wants to be the featured back, don't give me none of this politically correct I'll carry the ball when I get my chance to help the team win nonsense. Say it like it is, I'm gonna carry the heck out of the rock when I get my chance and I wanna be the starter.

As far as Maurice Jones-Drew, he is a heck of a back, MJD led the NFL in rushing last season with his 1,606 yards and an impressive 4.7 yard average. Since 2009 MJD has had at least 1,300 rushing yards a season and at least a 4.4 yard average, and has a 4.6 career rushing avg, thats awesome, that deserves top pay for a back. I think whats killing MJD's chances for a major payday in Jacksonville is the fact he's a 7 year vet and is only 5-7, how much wear and tear can a little back take? Having the 6-1 228lb Rashad Jennings in the backround isn't helping Jones either. Jennings has a 5.4 yard avg on 123 career carries and has been impressive so far in the pre-season. A trade wouldn't surprise me for MJD, I hope its not to Detroit who is rumored to have interest in MJD, should be interesting GO BEARS!!

I think the last thing MJD can every be considered is a guy who tells it like it is. Saying guys would rather be starters in the nfl isntead of backups is not telling it like it is, that's like saying poor people would like more money, or that pizza is a popular food.

I don't care if he is a good back the dude is a turd who can't admit when he is wrong. Backs are a dime a dozen now days. Opens his mouth about the Bears QB when he has no information, talking smack about the guy who got the Bears to the NFC title game when he is sitting on the third rate, third most popular Florida franchise. He got his big contract, and it was front loaded and now that the front loaded money has been given to him he wants more.

Good trade him to the Lions, lets see how he likes running on cement, and being hit on cement 8 games a year. Not to metion the Lions can't run block to save their lives. If some had said trade to the Packers I would be worried, but the Pass happy Lions, yeah go for it, they don't have the money to give him a contract either. Jags ranked 9th in run blocking, and the Lions ranked 21st. Please come to the Lions so we drop Major Wright on your head and give you the old Urlacher, then you can tell everyone about playing with a real Knee injury. Fool has a minor strain to his Meniscus and compares it to a grade 2 mcl tear. Whatever, he still missed to games because of it.

KEVIN: I, too, get really tired of political correctness. In any team sport, we have to expect, as fans, to get more of it than we would like to hear. We especially fault Lovie for doing it. Come on, that's what coaches do, and always will. It's a ritual. And rituals are part of the game. These are just general thoughts, Kevin; I am on your side.

Anyway, what I really want to say is that you won't get much of it from Michael Bush. You'll get a little, of course, but not much. He's not kissing Forte's ass no matter how much Forte would like that. No knock on Forte, either. Running backs were like that. Even Gale and Walter loved having their asses kissed. It's part of the deal. Bush is cool.

And the best part about him criticizing Cutler with no information is that he sat out the last two games of the season when the Jags were still playoff contenders with the exact same injury....Class act, that one...

MJD is more worried about his personal brand than he is about being a football player. His fantasy football show on the radio is just one of the things he does to keep himself relevant off the gridiron. He is a good back, maybe even one of the best in the league, but I would not count him among the great backs of my lifetime.

The only issue with trading him to the Lions is then we would have to worry about something other than Calvin Johnson. He would struggle on FieldTurf, and would not get away with the undersized defenses that were all over the AFC South. He would get hit a lot, and not get the same kind of yardage out of the NFC North.

Bottom line for me is that he signed a contract, and then had a great year. He punked out the year before and put himself before the team, and now wants more money. The Bears have a habit of caving in on these types of demands, but only on their pet players (Urlacher, Briggs). But Khan is a business man first, and an NFL owner second. He has to play the hard line, because that's all he knows.

MJD has no choice but to play for Jax, unless they trade or release him. He is also under contract, so he is getting fined every day he holds out. He can also be suspended up to 4 games without pay when he finally does report for conduct detrimental to the team. he is basically fighting a battle he can't win. It would be nice if for once an NFL owner realized they are the winners, and held the line. The world will go on without MJD, just like it will for any other player.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 22, 2012 10:59 PM.

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