Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jennings departs, Dobbins returns
By Paul Kuharsky
Before the 2012 season, I thought a bit too much of Rashad Jennings and a bit too little of Tim Dobbins.
The former was the Jacksonville Jaguars running back who took over as the starter while Maurice Jones-Drew held out through the preseason and was first in line after MJD got hurt. Jennings wasn't as effective in his chances as I expected, and wound up dealing with injuries himself. His next NFL act will unfold in Oakland, where he he will provide some depth at running back.
Dobbins, meanwhile, wound up with an increased role for the Houston Texans after Brian Cushing was lost to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. I came to think he can be a pretty effective inside linebacker in the 3-4. But to earn and keep playing time, Dobbins simply must get past the sort of nagging injuries that sidelined him when he got his chance last season. Ultimately an ankle injury kept him out of the playoffs in a season where the team suffered too many injuries beyond Cushing at the position.
Jacksonville added Justin Forsett to take over Jennings' role.
The Texans are likely to draft an inside linebacker who can compete with Darryl Sharpton and Dobbins for the second starting role. If that pick is skilled enough, he might even be able to keep the team in base and nickel personnel more often.