Looming Large: Maurice Jones-Drew

Jess Huffman continues his look ahead at the player from each of the Colts' 13 opponents that Indy fans really don't want to see this season. In Weeks 7 and 13, the Colts will get reacquainted with running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew is by no means a large human being, especially by NFL standards. At 5-foot-7, 208 pounds, he's one of the smallest players in the game.

To be blunt, he's just a little guy -- a mere inch taller than the shortest player in the league, San Diego running back Darren Sproles.

But what Jones-Drew lacks in stature he makes up for with blazing speed and game-changing ability. In 2006, he made a name for himself in the NFL as a backup running back and special teams player extraordinaire. And it just so happens, some of his biggest games came against the Colts.

There's little doubt he's looking forward to more opportunities to play against Indianapolis in 2007. And there's little doubt, despite his diminutive frame, Jones-Drew will play outside himself, in a big, big way.

The Indianapolis defense simply could not stop Jones-Drew last season. In two games against the Colts, the UCLA standout totaled 269 rushing yards on 28 attempts, averaging a whopping 9.6 yards per carry.

Even Ron Burgundy would be impressed by those numbers.

Marc Serota, Getty Images

In Jones-Drew's second career game against Indianapolis on Dec. 10, he went absolutely ballistic, rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-17 victory. The Colts allowed a franchise-record 375 rushing yards in that infamous game while Jones-Drew added insult to injury by returning a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.

I'm sure that for most running backs the night before playing the Colts was like the night before Christmas. Tossing and turning, all restless in bed, they could hardly sleep, knowing what good things were coming the next morning.

After the Jaguars beat down on Indianapolis last season, Jones-Drew said they were hoping for 400 rushing yards. Let me get something off my chest. In watching football, I live by two rules:

1) Never even mention the name Bill Belichick, regardless.

2) Any man who is not satisfied with 375 rushing yards, I fear.

It's a well-known fact that Jones-Drew wears No. 32 to symbolize the number of teams who passed on him in the 2006 draft. The Colts were one of the select teams taking a serious look at him, and I'm sure he's well aware of it.

I guess Bill Polian just liked what Joseph Addai brought to the table a little more.

Time will tell if the Colts made the right decision. Until then, Jones-Drew is going to do everything in his power to make them regret it.

If he keeps at his current pace, he might just do that.


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