Blog Entry

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:42 am
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Maurice Jones-Drew was right. He was better than I had him ranked on my list of the top-100 NFL players.

Jones-Drew took offense to me having him ranked fifth among NFL running backs when the list came out last spring. He was 37th overall. So I asked him where he'd rank himself among the backs.

"First," he said.

Right now, it's hard to argue that. Jones-Drew won the NFL rushing title Sunday, the first of his career, but the amazing thing is that he did without any help from the passing game. The Jaguars were last in the NFL in passing yards and Jones-Drew often had to do it against 8-man fronts.

Jones-Drew ran for 1,606 yards to win the rushing title. He ran for 169 yards against the Colts to win the title Sunday. Jones-Drew represented 44.7-percnet of the Jaguars offense this season.

That's way too much.

He needs help. Can you imagine what he could do if the Jaguars actually had a passing game? They will spend in free agency to fix that side of the ball, getting a couple of receivers likely and then also find a coach who isn't run-centric. 

Jones-Drew might not be as big a part of the offense going forward, but that wouldn't be a bad thing, He's getting far too many carries and taking far too many hits.

But, for now, it's hard to argue with his choice of where he should be in the NFL pecking order of backs.

There was nobody better in 2011.

---Matt Flynn is a player a quarterback-needy team should sign, with one caveat. It has to be a West Coast team. Flynn looked fantastic against the Lions Sunday, throwing six touchdown passes. He also threw for 480 yards. Flynn looked a lot like Aaron Rodgers with his ball-fakes and mannerisms. The difference is arm strength. He doesn't have a big arm, so the West Coast offense is what would work for him. He's a free agent who will get paid. Smart and accuracy are his strong points. 

---I've said all along that the Lions pass defense wasn't good enough, that the corners and secondary would be their undoing. In the second half of the season, that defense has been horrible. Can you imagine how excited Drew Brees is to face them again?

---The more and more I hear is that former Titans coach Jeff Fisher will be the Rams coach now that Steve Spagnuolo is fired. Fisher has ties to the Rams and is close with several people in the organization.

----Name to consider in some spots is Jim Haslett, Redskins defensive coordinator. He will get a sniff for some of the head-coaching spots. And he should.

---I love the idea that Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis is this secret candidate in Jacksonville. That's been known for a while -- even mentioned in several spots here. General manager Gene Smith really likes DeCamillis. 

---Where are all the good, young offensive coordinators? That's the trouble with trying to find a coach this season. That's why Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden will get a shot, even though he's in his first season running the Cincinnati offense. 

---The Patriots tight ends are sensational. Rob Gronkowski had the best season ever for a tight end. But the Patriots have to get more from their outside passing game come playoff time. The field shrinks and teams will double Gronkowski. 

----The Jets need to upgrade at outside linebacker and safety. You can have the great corners, but if you can't cover on the back end and combine it with an inability to get tot the passer, you will have trouble on defense. Eric Smith is bad in the back end and the Jets don't have a reliable outside rusher in their 3-4 defense.

---The more I watch the Saints offense, the more I am convinced they made a bad move to trade into the first round to draft running back Mark Ingram last year. He's out with a toe injury, and they don't miss him at all. A grinder back isn't nearly as valuable in the Saints offense as he is in other offenses. Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles are perfect for what the Saints do. They should have used that pick on a defensive player if they were going to make the move.

---The Tim Tebow chatter sure has quieted down. That's because he's not winning. It's because he's turning the ball over and it's because he can't pass the football. I stuck to my evaluation on him when everybody else was caving. So who was right? Is Tebow the long-term answer? Not a chance. It's sad almost to watch him play quarterback. Playoffs or not, the Broncos have to know they need to get a franchise passer.

---I spent a five days with the Rams last summer, with the idea they were a team on the rise. Oops. They had far too many injuries this season and the early schedule was brutal. But with Sam Bradford and the second pick in the draft next spring, they have a nice foundation in place. There is a good group of core players there. That makes it an attractive job.

---The Jets had two pass plays of 40 yards or more this season from Mark Sanchez. How did those moves to add old-and-slow receivers Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason work out? Mason is working in television now, if that tells you anything.

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Comments

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:01 pm
 

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

"The more I watch the offense, the more I am convinced they made a bad move to trade into the first round to draft running back last year. He's out with a toe injury, and they don't miss him at all. A grinder back isn't nearly as valuable in the Saints offense as he is in other offenses. and and are perfect for what the Saints do. They should have used that pick on a defensive player if they were going to make the move."

I think you have to look at that move in context.  Last year the top 5 RBs from the Saints ended up on IR.  They knew Reggie was leaving and only had Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory going forward.  Ivory is a good runner, but not an every-down back since he is poor at picking up blitzes.  There was no guarantee that they could get Sproles in Free agency, so they had to draft a RB.  The more I look at how hot the Saints are going into the playoffs and how stupid everything you write regarding the Saints reads including your repulsive article on Brees's all-time passing yardage record, the more I am convinced you made a bad career choice.  Pete Prisco, I hope you suffer a career ending carpal tunnel injury.



Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:15 pm
 

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Tebow is just trying to make a living like everyone else.  YOU guys singled him out.  Why?  because he likes to give praise to God?!  Grow up you media jerks.  You made it look like he was bowing every 5 minutes because you kept the cams on him relentlessly.  He was your pidgeon.  Now you take credit for being right about his QB techniques.  I got news for you, EVERYONE knew yet rooted for him BECAUSE and IN SPITE of you guys.  Grow the EF up.



Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Pete,  all the Tebow chatter was coming from you whipped media guys.  We cant help reading what you write.  You guys are hypocrates.  Everywhere I looked I saw him on his knee, he didnt pose for the cameras, you followed him and stuck mikes in his face KNOWING he was going to praise God.  Grow up.  You didnt have to mention you were right on about Tebow, most knew it but followed him because he was forced on us all day long by you jerks pretending to be sports writers.  Not everyone but most.



Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Where are all the pundits who called the Saints drafting of Mark Ingram "the steal of the draft".  Are they the same one who predicted the 49ers would finish last, thus reuniting Andrew Luck with Jim Harbaugh?



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:12 pm
 

Monday Musings: Jones-Drew proves his point

Prisco, I disagree on the Saints drafting Mark Ingram.  He was a smart, luxury pick for a very good team.  In the playoff game against Seattle last year, the Saints were basically down to Heath Evans (fullback) to carry the ball.  6 or 7 running backs were hurt during the season and 2 or 3 went out in the Seattle game alone.  Ingram was the best running back in the draft, he filled a huge void and the Saints picked 5 or 6 defensive guys later who have contributed nicely this season.  A team can't have enough good running backs with the injuries these guys sustain.  Ingram will have many great moments in a Saints uniform.  


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