Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Tiger Star Josey Is Working, Learning on the Jags' Practice Squad

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former Tiger Star Josey Is Working, Learning on the Jags' Practice Squad

Article excerpt

The NFL is a business. Former Missouri standout running back Henry Josey learned that lesson just a few months into his professional career.

A rookie free agent signed shortly after the draft by Philadelphia, Josey thrived in the fast-paced offense run by Chip Kelly, finishing second in the league in preseason rushing with 225 yards in 34 carries, an average of 6.6 per rush. In addition, he caught three passes for 39 yards and a touchdown.

But it wasn't enough. Josey failed to make the Eagles' 53-man roster and was not part of their 10-man practice squad.

But shortly after being cut, he was signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad.

"That's just the way the NFL works," Josey said last week in a phone interview from Jacksonville. "The Eagles are a team with some outstanding backs and I tried to learn as much as I could from them during training camp. I was a little surprised (about being cut and not added to their practice squad). But at the end of the day, you can't be upset. You just keep moving forward, learn from the experience and try to prepare yourself to make the most of the next opportunity.

"And you remind yourself that there are 32 NFL teams out there watching."

Josey, who stands 5 feet 10 and weighs 190 pounds, still is adjusting to life in Jacksonville. As a member of the practice squad, he takes part in all team activities except games. Practice squad players make a minimum of $6,300 a week.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity and I'm happy to be here," said Josey, who celebrated his 23rd birthday last week. "It's a good organization and I'm working with a great bunch of guys. I'm just trying to work hard every day and improve as a football player."

The biggest challenge was getting a handle on the Jacksonville playbook.

"The offense in Philadelphia was pretty similar to the one I ran in college, the only real difference was the tempo," he explained. "But this offense is much different than anything I've run before and the playbook's a lot more detailed than I'm used to. …

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