Maurice Jones-drew Has Put His Holdout Behind Him And Put Jacksonville’s Offense On His Back

Last season Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing despite playing on one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL. Despite an offseason holdout, MJD has picked up right where he left off. Through three games, Jones-Drew is second in the NFL in rushing with just over 300 yards and his breakout game this past weekend against the Colts led a Jaguars comeback which helped Jacksonville notch their first win of the season.

Maurice Jones-Drew joined ESPN Radio in Los Angeles with Max and Marcellus to talk about the Monday night game between the Packers and Seahawks, if he thinks it was a touchdown or interception, what he thinks about the Jaguars this season, when he realized that he was in a dispute with the Jaguars that he couldn’t win and if the holdout is all behind him now. (Editor’s note: This interview took place before the deal between the NFL and the NFLRA.)

On the Monday night game between the Packers and Seahawks:

“You have to understand that you have officials coming from Division III and High School, so the speed of the game has changed, the rules are different and they’re still trying to adjust. I do feel there are some things, the integrity of the game is being a little I guess you could say messed up a little bit by some the things. You can’t blame the refs because this is not their normal job, this is not what they’re used to reffing so when you have guys flying around you miss certain things and yeah you understand that and you have to play, but what I don’t like is when people make an excuse for it. It’s bad for both sides. It’s not bad for one side. In the Sunday night game between the Patriots and the Ravens both sides were getting calls that we aren’t used to seeing so they’re trying to do their best but their best isn’t good enough for us right now so we need to find a way to get the original refs back.”

If he thinks it watch a touchdown catch or interception:

“I really don’t know. That’s hard to say. I thought it was an interception but just like in baseball the tie goes to the offense. Golden Tate did a great job trying to fight for it. (Host: Timeout, if we walk into the locker room and we just turn the mics off.) I’m telling you the truth man listen, first and foremost I think Aaron Rodgers said the right thing. They shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. And the same thing, Seattle had a chance to take control of the game and they couldn’t do it. So if it comes down to that crucial play you don’t ever want to put it in the refs hands.”

On the last play of the Monday night game:

“It’s an interception. There’s a lot of things on that play that should’ve been called. Obviously the pass interference should’ve been called and you know what, Marcellus you know this better than anyone else, on that last play anything goes. We have seen it before, we had defensive pass interference happen, we had guys getting held, on that last play nothing is called. There’s no penalty because they don’t want an untimed down, they just want the game to be over. If you don’t want to be put in that position then take care of your business in the first three quarters.”

On the Jaguars this season:

“I definitely think we have the talent to be a top team. For us, more than anything, I think we have to execute our game plan. I think week one we came out, we had some injuries on the offensive line, Rashad Jennings went down, and guys stepping in and played that weren’t expected to play and we fought through that. Coming back in week three we didn’t execute at all. I’m not taking anything away from the Houston Texans because they are a very good team but we had something like 20 mental errors in the first 15 plays. We know you can’t win with that and that was just on offense. We feel like we want to be a ball control offense, take long drives, give our defense rest so they can go out there and make plays. When you were there it was the same way so we didn’t take care of our part as an offense and we kept our defense on the field too long. We wanted to go into Indy with a different mindset and thought we played well. We did have some plays where I thought we need to make that we didn’t but we fought and at the end Cecil Shorts made a hell of a play catching the ball and splitting the safeties and going for 80.”

When he realized he was in a dispute with the Jaguars he couldn’t win this offseason:

“I came to the realization when multiple teams offered multiple picks and players to trade for me and pretty much the Jaguars wouldn’t budge. They weren’t going to do anything and I think that was about the last week of the preseason, teams were calling Jacksonville and the Jaguars didn’t want to do it. When it comes to that point where they’re not allowing you to get compensated for your play and they won’t pay you and they won’t show you your value you have to come back.”

If his holdout is now behind him:

“All I can do is play ball now. I’ve taken the whole business side out of it and I’m just going to continue to work hard, make plays the best I can and try to help this team win and let whatever take care of itself, take care of itself. The offseason is totally different than the season and you cant worry about what the team is saying about you when you’re in contract negotiations and you can’t worry about what people are writing about you, all you can do is focus on doing your job the best you can. In the offseason you can handle that stuff. That’s what I did. In the offseason I took care of what I thought was right, what I know was right. That’s just the principle in the NFL. If you produce you’re supposed to get paid, you’re supposed to get compensated.”

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