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Jones-Drew faces latest challenge head-on

By Steve Corkran
scorkran@bayareanewsgroup.com
NAPA – Running back Maurice Jones-Drew never had to search for motivation. It came in daily doses from people questioning him because of his stature.
Time and again, the 5-foot-7 Jones-Drew silenced doubters with his play, be it at De La Salle High School, UCLA or the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now that he’s with the Raiders, he has found a new source of motivation from those who wonder if he has anything left.
“There’s nothing you can do to please everyone,” Jones-Drew said Thursday after another practice in which he earned praise from teammates and coaches. “People will be humbled sooner or later. If it’s not by me, it will be by somebody else.”
Jones-Drew, 29, led the league in rushing in 2011, and he was atop the chart again in 2012 when he suffered a broken left foot.
The injury limited him to six games and required surgery. Jones-Drew had two screws inserted into his foot, which forced him to relearn how to walk, let alone run.
So, perhaps it’s no surprise that Jones-Drew rushed for only 803 yards and 3.4 yards per carry, or almost 1 yard less than his previous career-low.
With that came doubts about whether Jones-Drew still has what it takes to be an every-down back. He calls such talk “hilarious.”
“I know what I have left,” Jones-Drew said. “I know the work I put in this offseason to get to where I need to get to be able to play at a high level. I stopped worrying about what people were saying.”
There are few things Jones-Drew loves more than a challenge. Tell him he can’t do something, he’ll find a way.
He had plenty of people telling him last season that his best days were behind him. As a result, Jones-Drew embarked upon a workout routine this offseason that confirmed he still has the desire to be the best back.
Jones-Drew vomited after his first few early-spring workouts, he said, which consisted of sprints up a steep hill in Danville.
In the end, he said, the rigorous training helped him heal from numerous injuries he played through last season.
Jones-Drew also faces another challenge. He spent the past five seasons as the unquestioned starter for the Jaguars. In Oakland, he is competing against incumbent starter Darren McFadden for playing time and carries.
“They understand that both of them are going to get an opportunity to play, both of them are going to get touches and they’re competing really hard,” coach Dennis Allen said. “It’s important for both of them. Both of them want to be the starter. They wouldn’t be good football players if they didn’t want that.”

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Steve Corkran

  • marks hair

    First

  • Raider O

    Good for you MJD.

  • DJ Johnny

    I’m first…haha. Bite it beyotches…..hahaha. Oh…never mind.

  • FourMoreYears

    “Having handled all the punting and kicking duties at Southern Miss in addition to intercepting 18 passes in three years as a safety, Guy conceded in a conference call that being a specialist was a difficult adjustment.

    “I had to get that mentality of being a starting safety and hitting people out of my mind and then focus on being a punter,” Guy said.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/raiders/ci_26254835/oakland-raiders-ray-guy-was-no-slamdunk-pick

    SOMETHING I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

    A punter gunning down the sideline with a red beanie on his helmet as a member of the scout kickoff team. Marquette King, who could pass for a cornerback, was actually recruited to Fort Valley State as a wide receiver. Last season at age 25, he led the NFL in yards per punt (48.9) with a long of 66. Said one staffer: “I think he just gets bored of punting.”

    http://mmqb.si.com/2014/07/30/oakland-raiders-nfl-2014-training-camp/

    Cut from the same cloth?

  • DJ Johnny

    Do I even need to go into the previous post to hear all the panic on Schaub and Carr?

    Just got in and read the tweets. Not a good day for our qb’s I guess.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    New post.

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Second!