Jaguars Running Back: No Competition

The Jaguars appeared to take the competition out of the third running back competition yesterday when they released reserve running back D.D. Terry and signed undrafted rookie Lavarus Giles. The move also appears to make Chauncey Washington more secure.

By most accounts, this appears as if the Jaguars took what could've been an interesting camp competition between D.D. Terry and Chauncey Washington, and gave the job to the seventh-round pick from USC. In the grand scheme of things, will this move matter much to the team? Probably not. Jacksonville's former third running back, LaBrandon Toefield, was active for just six of the team's last 34 football games, and his impact upon the team was minimal at best.

Could Lavarus Giles be a legitimate player in the NFL and push for a roster spot on the Jaguars in 2008? I don't know. The only thing we know about him is that Giles is a 6'1", 220 lb. running back who carried the rock just 87 times as a senior for 514 yards and five touchdowns, hardly impressive numbers being that he played at a school with lesser competition. Giles reportedly ran a 4.41 second 40-yard dash at his pro day, and benched 225 lbs. 19 times. He must have made some impact over the Jaguars mini-camps last weekend, as he was a non-roster invitee, but if he made an impact I didn't see it.

Is D.D. Terry going to be the next Fred Taylor? That isn't likely. Terry played just one year in college at running back, but his numbers were a bit more impressive than Giles (or Chauncey Washington's for that matter). Terry gained 1328 yards rushing on just 215 carries as a senior, and won the Southland Conference's Offensive Player of the Year Award his only year playing offense. Terry displayed good running ability and athleticism during his limited reps in camps, and although he may not ever be an NFL star, he could be a valuable player on someone's roster.

It would appear that the Jaguars coaching staff believes that Chauncey Washington has a higher ceiling than D.D. Terry, and he likely does. Washington was a blue chip prospect coming out of South High School in Torrance, California before having a somewhat underwhelming career at USC. Still, Washington has great measurables with his 5'11", 218 lb. frame and his 4.4 speed and 36" vertical leap. Here's what NFL draft expert and former NFL scout Tom Marino had to say about the Jaguars running back—

Not as physical a back as I would have expected given his physical make up. More of a dancer then power back. Ran the hole, but his feet tend to stop on contact. Adequate catch and run after skills. Has solid back up and special teams potential. Good cutback skills and vision to see the backside. Has plus hands and overall receiving skills. Has had a number of injuries to go along with academic problems. Has mid round draft potential.

Was there an off the field incident with D.D. Terry to make the team give up on him? We may never know. Did the Jaguars do him a favor by releasing him? Maybe. If the Jacksonville coaching staff already made their minds up that Chauncey Washington was going to be their developmental running back, it is probably best that D.D. Terry gets as much time as possible to look for a new team, and releasing him now would let him catch on with someone else and be able to spend a full training camp with his new team, assuming he finds one.

From an outside perspective, it appears the Jaguars gave up on a talented player just for the sake of having less competition in camp, but that may not be the case.

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