One of the biggest losses to the 2011-2012 Season was that of backup running back Rashad Jennings. The 2nd year back was counted on to be the lightning (or is it thunder?) to Maurice Jones-Drew but an injury in the 3rd preseason game ended his aspiring season. Up until that point, Rashad had been averaging almost 5.4 yards a carry granted in a relatively small sample size. In 2010 he also caught 26 passes, which to put into prospective was 1 more than Jason Hill, and 12 more than his replacement, Deji Karim had last year. While on the topic of last year’s backup Karim, he averaged a measly 2.1 yards per carry. Put simply, the preseason loss of Jennings was a dagger to the run game, and quite possibly the offense as a whole.
I don’t even want to go over the countless times Mojo would come off after a great run, only to see Deji-DuJuan-Karim-Harris stall the drive. Frankly it was utterly frustrating and one of those two will have much greater success as a third option, and not Maurice’s primary replacement. That is a duty I feel Rashad can, and will provide in the upcoming season. He has shown the ability to break tackles and pull off a big play (remember the Oakland game). He has shown acumen for catching the ball out of the backfield and getting key firsts downs. He has also shown a knack for getting tough yards at the goal line. As a bigger body Jennings needs to be able to stay healthy to limit the wear and tear Pro Bowl running back Jones-Drew takes. There is a good article about his character and his desire to have a great year today by John Oehser over at www.Jaguars.com. Jennings is hungry to contribute, and as a 7th round steal, Rashad may turn out to be one of the best draft picks of General Manager Gene Smith. Let us hope that proves out to be true.