Five Questions With Maurice Jones-Drew

Prior to the draft, former UCLA running back Maurice Jones-Drew talked to ColtPower's Ed Thompson about his NFL aspirations and his college career. This week, Ed got an update from the personable running back who will be in Indy on Sunday as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ed Thompson: So how has the transition from college to the NFL gone for you?

Maurice Jones-Drew: I don't want to say that it's not what I expected, but it's definitely different. Coming in you play against all of these big-name guys and you think the world of them; and then you get to know them and practice against them and you see they're just like you. I don't want to say there's a big difference, because if you were a playmaker in college, you can be a playmaker in the NFL. You just have to have that confidence and get used to the speed of the game. If you have a swagger about yourself you'll be alright.

ET: Is it easy to keep that swagger, or do the veterans try to keep you in your place?

MJD: With the Jaguars, as long as you make plays you're not a rookie to them. If you're out there blocking and making catches and doing great things you're a veteran. If you're not doing anything and messing up and stuff like that, you're a rookie.

ET: You're having to line up on offense every day and face guys who appear to be one of the better defenses in the NFL. What's that do for you?

MJD: It makes our offense a better offense. If you watch the games, right now what we need to do is learn how to finish drives. We can drive on any team in the NFL, we just need to learn how to finish it. We have these three big receivers on the outside and Fred running the ball and Byron putting the ball where it needs to be. And with everyone contributing it makes it that much easier on the offense because with the defense that we have, we know we're going to get the ball back.

ET: How would you describe your head coach, Jack Del Rio, for fans who aren't very familiar with his style with the players?

MJD: He played in the NFL so he knows what it takes. It helps being coached by a person from my area, the bay area, having the same mentality that I do and he's just really down to earth. He's more of a player's coach. He played in the game and knows what it takes and he's seen the game evolve since he's been here. When I'm running the ball he'll tell me "this linebacker's going to do that" or when I'm pass blocking he'll say "when this linebacker does this it means he's going to make this certain move and you have to be able to jump and counteract like this…" Little things like that help you out a lot.

ET: You're currently backing up Fred Taylor at running back. Have you learned anything from Fred that you've been able to benefit from as you're getting yourself established in the NFL?

MJD: I've learned a lot from Fred. He's a real quiet guy, but when he talks, what he says is really meaningful. I watch everything Fred does and if he does something wrong I don't say anything to him cause he knows cause he tries to be perfect. He tells us when you're out there it's just like college and high school, remember how you did it then and transfer it to now. He also taught me how to be patient. You know everything's faster and you have to hit the hole that much harder, but really you have to wait a little bit longer before you hit the hole so it's the total opposite of what you'd think.

ColtPower Insiders can go "Behind Enemy Lines" with Maurice Drew-Jones in another feature that will be released at ColtPower.com Saturday evening. Maurice will share some of his observations about the Colts defense, their special teams coverage units, the Jaguars approach to the game, and he even does tosses out a a good-natured challenge to Colts rookie safety Antoine Bethea. Be sure to watch out for it at ColtPower!

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