Former Jaguars tailback Maurice Jones-Drew joined “XL Primetime” to look back on the Jaguars off-season, starting with the signing of former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
“He is going to bring stability to that offense a little bit,” Jones-Drew told 1010XL. “I felt like when Blake (Bortles) was playing well the Jags were rolling, but it was just such a roller coaster and so up and down that it was tough. Foles is going to bring a little more stability and a little more conservative play.
“When you do sign him, you know have to build around him and make him comfortable. At the end of the day you payed Nick Foles and now it’s time to go out there and make sure he is comfortable in the pocket.
“When he’s comfortable in the pocket I’ve seen games where he has torched teams. We have also seen how he plays in late December, so you just want to get to that late December part and let Nick take it from there.
“I think they will be much better than what they have been offensively, just because Nick Foles is not going to turn the ball over. My only concern about Nick Foles is that he needs big targets. He likes big wide receivers and he likes tight ends. You have to go out and try to find those guys to help him out.”
Most analysts will tell you the Jaguars had a good draft haul last week in Nashville. What were Jones-Drew’s thoughts?
“Obviously, you want Josh Allen to be impactful from day one ,” Jones-Drew said. “I think Jawaan Taylor comes in and gives them a viable right tackle and lets them get back to going where they want to go.
“Josh Oliver is going to be a guy like your Zach Ertz, a guy that can run around and do those type of things. That’s what you need, a bigger body guy for Nick Foles because he likes guys with bigger catch radiuses.
“I didn’t know much about Quincy Williams, the linebacker from Murray State. I watched his tape, a phenomenal player. He hits with intent to remove the ball from the ball carrier. I know in talking to the Jags, they wanted to add another off the ball linebacker. Someone that flies around and plays the game the way they want it to be played. So, that’s a great pick up there.”
A big story that developed last week was the departure of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from voluntary offseason workouts. Ngakoue, who did attend the first two weeks of workouts, is coming into the final year of his rookie contract and Jones-Drew was asked to give his perspective on Ngakoue not attending the Jaguars off-season program last week.
“You always want to protect your number one asset, which is your body,” Jones-Drew said. “Me personally, I never trained in Jacksonville. I felt more comfortable training outside of it. I remember my rookie year, I trained with Fred Taylor down in Miami and that is where I continued to train.
“I spoke with the Jaguars about it and we had a long discussion and they were like, ‘just come back ready to play.’ When you become a pros pro I think the organization will trust you, but then also from a players standpoint, you do have some freak injuries at these voluntary workouts.
“So, I know Yannick is going to try definitely to make sure he is completely healthy going into a contract year.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)