Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MJD Worries Team Took Step Back; That's Been Source of Frustration for Jags' RB

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MJD Worries Team Took Step Back; That's Been Source of Frustration for Jags' RB

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND | The Jaguars have made such little progress this season that taking a step back didn't go over well with running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

The three-time Pro Bowler chose not to speak to reporters following last Sunday's 24-6 loss to San Diego at EverBank Field. Jones-Drew carried nine times, as the Jaguars defense couldn't get the Chargers offense off the field. The carries were the lowest total in four years in which Jones-Drew played the entire game.

When Jones-Drew met with reporters this week at Pennyhill Park, he said his frustrations didn't stem from a lack of offensive touches. He thought the team regressed from a spirited effort in a 35-19 loss at Denver the week before.

"Nine carries wasn't really the big deal," Jones-Drew said. "The most frustrating part is taking that big step in Denver and then coming back and doing what we did. We're kind of on that roller coaster and we don't want to be a part of that. That was the main reason I was upset. We're working on the right path, so to take that step back was very frustrating."

Getting the roller coaster to rocket upwards again might prove difficult this week. The Jaguars (0-7) face a 5-2 San Francisco team that has won four consecutive games on Sunday at London's Wembley Stadium.

The key to an upset could be Jones-Drew. Through the team's first four games, Jones-Drew carried 57 times for 138 yards, a miserable 2.4-yard average per carry. In the last three games, he's run 46 times for 178 yards, a 3.8-yard average.

"Maurice is an outstanding running back, obviously," Jaguars right guard Uche Nwaneri said. "He's been finding a good rhythm the last few weeks and feeding him the ball is something that is always going to be important for us."

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley thought the way Jones-Drew handled his emotions last Sunday was important to his and the team's growth.

"He wants to be a part of this and see it all come together," Bradley said. "There's some frustration at times throughout the team, but that's OK. That shows me they care and I think he understands himself well enough, he's trying to deal with it. …

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