Wednesday, March 19, 2014
MJD visiting the Steelers
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Running back Maurice Jones-Drew could be back in Jacksonville this season.
In black and gold, though.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported Jones-Drew is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers and that other teams are interested in Jones-Drew as well. If he were to sign with the Steelers he'd on the opposite sideline when they play the Jaguars at EverBank Field. Pittsburgh is one of seven home opponents. Dates have yet to be announced.
Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has said he would like to re-sign Jones-Drew, who has rushed for 8,071 yards and holds the franchise record with 81 touchdowns in eight seasons. However, the team signed running back Toby Gerhart last week and it's unlikely that Jones-Drew would be willing to share carries with Gerhart.
If he signs with the Steelers he'll have to share carries with Le'Veon Bell, who rushed for 860 yards and eight touchdowns after missing the first three games of his rookie season because of a foot injury.
Jones-Drew ran for 803 yards and five touchdowns in 2013 but his 3.4 yards per carry was the worst of his career. He said previously his production was down somewhat because he was little more than a year removed from Lisfranc surgery and was bothered by ankle, knee and hamstring issues.
But it could be an accumulation of the pounding that he has taken over his career. Jones-Drew, who turns 29 on March 23, is a physical runner despite his 5-foot-7, 210-pound frame. He has a lot of mileage on his legs, too. Has carried the ball 1,804 times, caught 335 passes for 2,873 yards, and returned 70 kickoffs and 15 punts.