Jaguars Q&A With Maurice Jones-Drew

Maurice Jones-Drew was nominated for Rookie of the Week honors after an eye-popping performance against the Colts. Find out what he had to say about that this week, along with his thoughts on facing the Titans.

Ed Thompson:  Maurice, congratulations on an outstanding effort last week against the Colts. You had 303 all-purpose yards including 166 rushing, returned a kickoff for 93 yards for a touchdown and rushed for two TDs including a 48-yarder. What was going on out there?

Maurice Jones-Drew:  The preparation...and the great situations the coaches put everybody in on Sunday. 

ET:  How are you feeling physically overall after that big game?

MJD:  The first two days I was pretty sore. But then I started to get my legs back under me and I'm getting back into the groove of things.

ET:  Last week we talked about how you had been overlooked for Rookie of the Week nominations previously, but this week you got that nomination...

MJD:  I didn't want it.

ET:  You didn't want it?

MJD: Nope...

ET:  Why?

MJD:  I mean, what's the purpose? I really don't care too much about the individual stuff. As long as we're winning, I'm happy.  It seems like in the NFL it's all about politics and a popularity contest. Not everybody's being real. 

ET:  I agree with you, especially since it's based on fan voting. I checked right before this interview, and you're currently in third place out of the five players. Vince Young is leading with 218 yards passing, 86 yards rushing including his 39-yard scramble for a TD in overtime, but here's the one that really made me shake my head...the Bears' Devin Hester is in second place in the voting, and he's an exciting player to watch as well. He had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and another one for a 96-yard touchdown. But outside of that, the guy had three tackles in his stats line for the night. I've got to tell you, I saw your game, saw how hard you worked for your rushing yards in addition to your kickoff return for a touchdown and here's a guy that has a lead on you in the voting based on two plays. It really goes to the point of what games did the fans see, like his Monday night game, and are they looking at the stats or even paying attention? 

MJD:  I don't worry about it too much anymore. If we're really going to be real about this, that's fine. And if you feel someone outperformed me, that's fine. I'm a man who will say, "that guy did better than me."  I just ask that people look at the stats and not who they want to have win it or who the media thinks should win it. Go by the stats. But like I said, I'm just happy we're winning. The other stuff is secondary right now.

ET:  You got to see the Colts defense up close and personal and obviously you guys were able to exploit some weaknesses. Tell us where those weaknesses were and how you were able to take advantage of them with such great success.

MJD:  They don't have too much of a weakness. Their defense is set up to protect leads. They have all those pass rushers on their team, so we just decided that we're going to use that against them and get their linebackers to drop back to protect the pass by running draws -- that was our game plan going in, but towards the end we just went to our style of football, which is power football, running downhill, make one cut and run. That was basically it, it wasn't a secret. 

ET:  You went in during the game for an IV. Did you realize you needed that or did the trainers?

MJD:  Oh no, I knew needed it. On the play before I went in for the I.V., we ran an out of the backfield pass play and I made a guy miss, and I was running up the field and I got hit and I was pushing him off me and I was out of bounds. And Cato June tackled me out of bounds and my leg got stuck in the ground and he fell on top of my ankle. And my calf kind of locked up a bit. Once it locked up, I knew I needed an I.V. to get it to release.     

ET:  Colts president Bill Polian had high praise for you this week. He said you pack a wallop, that if someone tries to arm-tackle you you're going to get out of it, and he said the Colts organization knew you as well as any player in this draft. And then he confirmed something I reported right after the draft this year, that if Jacksonville had not picked you with the 28th pick in the second round , the Colts were going to draft you just two picks later. That would have made for an interesting pairing having you and Joseph Addai on that team, wouldn't it have?

MJD:  It's flattering, but I still have that can of Pringles on my shoulder from the draft -- there's 32 of 'em in there, and I don't think they'll ever come off. I appreciate him saying that, but it's too late now, right?

ET:  You've got Tennessee on tap this week. They've got some very active linebackers like Keith Bulluck and David Thornton, some bigger defensive linemen than the Colts. What are you going to have to do to beat these guys?

MJD:  Play our game. There are some things from last week that we can improve on. We didn't play a perfect game, and nobody really does, so there's always something you can improve on.  We've just got to go out and play our game, play physical and pass, and we should be all right. Coach Del Rio keeps telling us to worry about the little things -- like ball security -- and the big things will happen 

ET:  Both teams have a lot to play for this week. The Titans have been improving every week and are trying to set the stage for next year and aren't mathematically out of it yet. You guys are in the playoff hunt with a good winning streak going, so plenty is on the line for both teams...

MJD:  That's what's going to make it a good game. Keith Bulluck said it best in an interview he did after we beat them. He said, "they got the best of us this week, but it's going to be a different outcome (next time)." And we're preparing for that. We know they're going to come out and play hard, so we're going to have to go out there and play that much harder and prepare for their best.

ET:  What have you seen on film so far about the Titans that you can share with us?

MJD:  We know they're going to try to stop the run, which is what everybody's going to try to do against us. They have Pacman Jones back, they're going to play physical, they've got Haynesworth back who's a good run-stopper, they've got Vanden Bosch, Bulluck, so it's going to be a good game.

ET:  Anything else I can pass on to the fans for you this week?

MJD:  Just tune in, that's all. Get your popcorn and tune in. There will be a show this week. 


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