Earlier this week, several NFL players turned NFL Network analysts reflected on the biggest regrets of their playing careers. Among them was former Jaguars' running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Before reading what Pocket Hercules had to say, I pondered what his answer might be.
A lengthy holdout leading up to the 2012 season that was ultimately unsuccessful?
A dust-up with a security guard at the Conch House in St. Augustine?
But neither of those situations was mentioned by Mojo.
Here's Maurice Jones-Drew greatest regret from his days in Jacksonville:
Training together and building team chemistry is such a big part of high school and college football, and that's exactly what I experienced at De La Salle and UCLA. When I stepped into a leadership role in Jacksonville, I should have encouraged my teammates to train together in the offseason rather than going our separate ways. There were several seasons where we were one or two games out of the playoffs and -- who knows? -- we might've been in the mix had we been pushing each other all spring and summer. I was one of the people who left Jacksonville in the offseason, and although I was improving my own game, how could I lead by not being present? I couldn't.
It's a refreshing answer from Jones-Drew. It's oftentimes hard for a player to see the err in his ways at the time. But I agree with Maurice — it's impossible to lead when you are not present.
Could the Jaguars have made more playoff runs during Jones-Drew's time in Jacksonville with more cohesive offseasons?
It's certainly possible. In 2010, the Jaguars started the season 8-5 and were in position to make a playoff run. But then, as many of you might remember, the Big Cats dropped three straight games to close the season. Would better leadership have led to a different result? We'll never know.
Fortunately for the current Jaguars, many of their young ascending players have been eager to practice with each other this offseason despite the Pandemic sweeping the country. Will it pay dividends this fall? Only time will tell.
Of course, Jaguars fans should have nothing but fond memories of their former All-Pro running back. During his time in Jacksonville, the Jaguars did not win many games, but Mojo should not shoulder the blame. He was a three-time Pro-Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and led the NFL in rushing yards in 2011. He's also the franchise's all-time leader in total touchdowns.
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