Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

MJD on Jaguars: “They can win the South”

He’s certainly no stranger to the stadium but it took an assignment from the NFL Network to get former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones Drew back on the Jaguars practice field.

“Getting a feel for the team,” Jones Drew responded when asked what brought him to town. The network wants him to have a good sense of the teams he’s talking about so a visits to mini-camps is on the schedule

His first impression of the 2016 Jaguars is a good one.

“They look good right now,” he said after practice. “There are a lot of people excited and I’m excited for them.”

As much optimism that surrounds the Jaguars at this time of year, Jones Drew knows a lot of pieces have to fall in place. He looks at the roster based on what players have shown what they can do in the league and finds the Jaguars pretty young in some critical areas.

“A lot of people get excited. Remember to win a championship you have to have consistency. When you’re relying on young people you don’t really know.”

But as far as being better this year, the former NFL rushing leader thinks the Jaguars can be very competitive.

“You have to get in the dance and I definitely think they have a chance to win the South,” he said when asked about his expectations for this season.

He recognizes that the Jaguars spent a lot of money on defense in the offseason but thinks the addition of Chris Ivory might open up the offense.

“(He does) A lot of good things, Chris Ivory has done good things with the Jets and in New Orleans. TJ Yeldon, they are trying to give him some space. It’s good to be able to have multiple type of backs. Fast backs, big backs. That and with some talented wide receivers will help the running game.”

As a Pro Bowl running back, MJD knows the value of a quarterback who gets the job done. Jones Drew admitted he’s been critical of Blake Bortles, mostly based on his turnovers.

“I’m a tough critic of him (Bortles). He’s a very talented QB. But he has to limit turnovers. He turns the ball over. He throws it well, reads defenses. Limit turnovers and he’ll be fine.”