Any conversation regarding the Jaguars' success rushing the football this season will likely begin with RB Maurice Jones-Drew. After all, the league's second-ranked rusher has bulldozed his club to the top of the division behind six straight 100-yard rushing efforts. Jones-Drew is leading the way for his Jaguars to win their first AFC South title, but he couldn't do it without the guy leading the way for him: FB Greg Jones. One team insider recently called Jones the best blocking fullback in the league.
"It's been great," Jones said of his team's success in an interview with PFW last week. "This is what we work so hard for, not just me, but the offensive line, the running backs, the whole club. So it is very rewarding to get on a roll like this late in the season."
Jones, 29, says that the strength of the offensive line and being able to block for a back as talented as Jones-Drew has made his job easier.
Being healthy has also made a difference. After dealing with several injuries during his seven-year career, including a torn left ACL that forced him to miss the entire 2006 season and be converted to a full-time fullback in '07, and ankle injuries that ended his '08 and '09 seasons prematurely, Jones said he is as fresh as he has been in years.
Jones' selfless, team-first approach and preference for running over rather than around defenders is what allowed him to make the successful transition from once-promising halfback to punishing fullback.
"Of course [I get the same satisfaction running over a LB without the ball in my hands]. At the end of the day, the defender is going to be feeling the same way."
Jones also credits former RB coach Kennedy Pola, who taught him the proper technique to play the position, for his smooth transition — Jones was named first alternate to the Pro Bowl in '07.
The Jaguars finished the '07 season ranked second in rushing offense and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. This year's team is averaging 8.4 yards more on the ground per game.
"[This season] kind of reminds me of 2007. [Former Jaguars RB] Fred [Taylor] and Maurice were in the backfield, running really hard during our playoff push."