|Jones-Drew hasn’t appeared at Jacksonville’s voluntary workouts because he wants a new contract.|
That isn’t helping him learn the scheme that new coach Mike Mularkey and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski have been installing. Instead, Jones-Drew is falling behind his backup running backs (much, I’m sure, to the delight of said backups Rashad Jennings, Montell Owens and Jalen Parmele).
"It’s not helping him by not being here, he’ll have a lot of learning to catch up on," Bratkowski told the Florida Times Union. "But yet, he’s a gifted and talented player and I’m sure he can get caught up. It’s certainly not helping him. Whether it’s hurting him or not, that remains to be seen."
Well, it’s probably not helping him. Although Jones-Drew was the league’s leading rusher last year, it’s likely not a great idea that he’s not around to learn the new playbook. And before we talk about how awesome he was last year, even with the lockout, you have to remember that everybody was locked out. This year, although coaches have given him a limited playbook, he’s voluntarily falling behind.
At the same time, though, if Jones-Drew -- who still has two years left on a five-year, $30 million contract that guaranteed $17 million -- wants more money, this is one way to show the team. And in the end, it probably won’t matter because there’s a decent chance Jones-Drew will finish the season as one of the top rushers in the game anyway.
"Since I haven’t been around him to see how he responds to the terminology and the coaching I don’t know," Mularkey said. "I’m assuming he’ll be alright. If he knows the basics he’ll at least not come in here stone cold."
Either way, Jones-Drew can take solace in the fact that he’s now No. 19 on Pete Prisco’s top-100 list. Considering he’s up from No. 37 last year, that’s quite an honor.
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