New England Patriots: Maurice Jones-Drew

RB Jones-Drew nearly a Patriot?

April, 2, 2014
When running back LeGarrette Blount signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers last Friday, it created a need for the New England Patriots, as their backfield now needs depth behind Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden.

As it turns out, that need was almost filled before it even became a need, as former Jaguars and new Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew said in an interview with Mad Dog Sports Radio that his final decision came down to the Patriots, Steelers and, of course, Oakland.

There had been some buzz linking Jones-Drew to the Patriots, among other teams, before he signed his three-year, $7.5 million deal with Oakland, and it's interesting to contemplate what he would've brought to the Pats.

Though he's not the same player he was earlier in his career, Jones-Drew is a compact bulldozer who catches the football extremely well. That's something that would bring value to the Patriots' offense.

The team had free-agent running back Michael Bush in for a visit on Tuesday, another player who catches the ball extremely well.

No deal has been reached between the Patriots and Bush at this time, and it's unclear if the team has opted to pursue signing Bush after the visit.

For now, running back remains a need for the Patriots.

One that was almost squared away last week.

Jags rule out RB Jones-Drew for Sunday

December, 21, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday ruled out running back Maurice Jones-Drew for Week 16 against the Patriots due to a foot injury.

This Sunday will mark the ninth straight game that Jones-Drew, the NFL's leading rusher in 2011, has missed, and it opens up the door to one of a number of reserve running backs taking on a starting role.

The Patriots have been preparing to face Jones-Drew this week, and have made it abundantly clear how much they respect what he brings to the field as a player.

Said head coach Bill Belichick of Jones-Drew, "He brings everything. He has great balance, vision, power for his size. He’s a thick guy, hard to put on the ground. [He] sees the holes well, runs with good power, has good speed, catches the ball well out of the backfield, he’s dangerous on the check-downs and flare routes, screens, things like that. He’s very good in the line of scrimmage on the inside runs, very good on the outside runs. He’s a tough guy to handle in space. He does everything well."

Montell Owens, a seventh-year player out of Maine, started for the Jaguars in Week 15. Rashad Jennings and Jalen Parmele have also started in Jones-Drew's absence.

Former Jaguar Fred Taylor a top storyline

December, 22, 2009
With the Patriots preparing to face the Jaguars, veteran running back Fred Taylor was a topic of discussion Tuesday.

"This weekend, we were talking a little bit and I asked him if he was going to play and didn’t get a response back," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said Tuesday on a conference call. "I kind of figured it was a 'yeah.'"

Jones-Drew said it will be exciting to be on the opposite side of the field from Taylor. He added that Taylor has molded him into the player he is, and the two still work out together in the offseason.

"It's going to be real emotional, because there are 10 or 12 of us who Fred kind of raised into the league," Jones-Drew said. "When I got here, Fred came to me with open arms. He said, 'I'm willing to teach you if you're willing to learn and listen.' To hear one of the best players at the position say something like that, it kind of turned our relationship into what it is now."