Thursday, November 14, 2013
Justin Forsett adjusting to smaller role
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Justin Forsett didn't expect to be the Jaguars' feature back in 2013, but he was hoping to have more than 20 touches more than halfway through the season.
Six carries for 31 yards and 14 receptions for 73 yards are all he has contributed to the offense this season. The reduced role, which is due to the development of Jordan Todman and the addition of Denard Robinson, has been tough for Forsett, who signed a two-year deal with the Jaguars in the offseason.
"It's been tough," Forsett said. "Of course you're a player, you want to play, you want to be out on the field helping your team. Just the opportunity hasn't come yet. They've got some other plans so my job is just stay ready in case I'm part of those plans."
When Forsett signed in March, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said he envisioned a bigger role for Forsett. But a series of injuries and the draft derailed that.
Todman, a first-year player who has spent time with San Diego and Minnesota, was coming off a calf injury and didn't get much work in the offseason. The Jaguars drafted Robinson in the fifth round and planned to use him in a variety of roles, including as a running back. But there was still plenty of room for Forsett to get work behind starter Maurice Jones-Drew.
But Forsett suffered a sprained toe on his right foot Aug. 1 in the first live practice period of training camp and missed the rest of camp and all of preseason. Meanwhile, Todman led the team in rushing in the preseason (223 yards) and earned a bigger role on offense (18 carries for 53 yards in nine games).
Forsett said he hasn't spoken with Fisch about his role and that's not something he would do anyway, he said.
"Just basically be ready when called upon," said Forsett, who has caught 100 passes for 768 yards and one TD and rushed for 1,661 yards and eight TDs in the past five seasons with Seattle, Indianapolis and Houston. "That's basically the message. I'm going to be here for my teammates. I'm going to go out and practice hard, make sure I'm getting them better and keeping the energy up but other than that, I've just got to be ready.
"I've always been used in some capacity, even from the beginning, so this is kind of a first, a different situation for me, which is a challenge or a little bit adversity for me to overcome. Later down the road I can use this as a testimony for someone that might come and be in my shoes. That part right there is exciting for me."