Holt, Jones-Drew ready to lead Jags
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Maybe it's the obscurity of being in one of the NFL's smallest markets that makes a pair of Jaguars, Maurice Jones-Drew and Torry Holt, walk and talk with a dare-me style that is unshakable in their faith.
"I don't even think people realize I'm in Jacksonville now," laughed Holt, the former Ram and one of the most prolific receivers of his generation. "My goals haven't changed ... 90 catches, 1,300 yards, 10-plus touchdowns."
Jones-Drew, the 5-foot-7 fireball running back, won't set individual goals -- the Super Bowl was the only one he mentioned -- but he won't back down from a challenge and he'll throw down a few, too.
"[Chad] Ochocinco, so he kicked an [extra point]?" said Jones-Drew. "I'll challenge him at anything. I can take him in jacks, basketball, track, name it. I'm way faster than him."
It gets better.
"I think I might be able to beat Usain [Bolt] in the 40 if they let me train for it," said Jones-Drew. "I'm going to put this out there -- if anybody thinks they're faster than me in the 40, please contact the Jaguars and next offseason, give me a month off and a month to train. Bolt? If he wants some, he can get it."
He was only half-joking, but he wasn't smiling. The most appropriate aspect of his boast was his acknowledgement that after the 2009 season, Jones-Drew will need a month off. Fred Taylor is gone and he is the man.
"I know our offense is going to revolve around MJD and that's the way it should be," said Holt. "He can do this."
In fact, it is Holt's former Rams teammate, Marshall Faulk, whom Jones-Drew uses as a model when he speaks of his expectations for 2009.
"The game has evolved a little bit, thanks to Marshall Faulk , and Brian Westbrook and even Brian Mitchell with the Redskins," said Jones-Drew. "The position [running back] is more about touches now than carries. Guys may not get those 330 to 400 carries, but I may get 330 to 350 touches. It's about catching ball, too, being versatile out of the backfield, get out in space and make plays. That's what we're doing here."
Faulk (now retired) and Westbrook have been 2,000-yard weapons in combined rushing and receiving. That's one reason why Jones-Drew has been encouraging people to select him No. 1 in their fantasy drafts. Really, MJD over Adrian Peterson?
"People hit me on Twitter and ask, 'Should I pick you?' and, of course, I say yes," said Jones-Drew. "I'm in two fantasy drafts and there's an automatic rule is I get myself in the first round."
The fantasy question was posed to Holt.
"AP," he said, referring to the Vikings star.
Here's what I learned visiting the Jaguars:
Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.
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ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen's 21-team bus tour of training camps is over. Mort's trip started in Arlington, Texas, where he met Dallas owner Jerry Jones at the team's new stadium and ended in Miami Gardens, Fla., for a visit with the Dolphins. Mort camp page