Jaguars Pro-Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew has been called many things in his career. From nouns like superstar to adjectives like elusive, you would think Jones-Drew has been called nearly everything over his seven seasons in the league.
That is, of course, until Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano got his chance to describe the 2011 rushing champion.
"You can't see him, you can't find him," said Pagano on what makes Jones-Drew so hard to tackle.
"He is like a rolling ball of butcher-knives when he goes running up through there. He's got legs like tree trunks, like two Sequoias. I told our guys, if you try to hit this guy high and don't wrap-up, you will bounce off him like BB's on a tin-can. We have to gang-tackle this guy, but he is strong as heck and he breaks a ton of tackles. He is quick and he has good vision. I said the one thing that is the same size on all of these backs is their ankles. So if you wrap him up, slide down to get his ankles, and bring them together, you have a chance to take him down. But he is just a physical, physical back. He has great talent, great vision, and we have another one this week we need to tend to and do a good job."
Jacksonville (0-2) and Jones-Drew have been off to a slow start during the 2012 season, having only rushed for a combined 137 yards and 0 touchdowns during two losses against Minnesota and Houston. However, Jones-Drew has been known to have success against the Colts during his NFL career, having rushed for an average of 101 yards and has nine career touchdowns in 12 games versus the Colts.
In two match-ups against a much maligned Colts defense in 2011, Jones-Drew averaged 141.5 yards per game with one touchdown. That is why when the two teams face-off on Sunday, the squad in blue knows it is going to take a full-team effort to slow down the MoJo express.
"He is 5'2, low to the ground, and runs hard," said Colts safety Antoine Bethea. "We keep on talking about how we need to get eleven guys to the ball, and we need to fly around like we have been doing these previous two weeks. It's the third week in a row we are going against a great back, so we just need to go out there and do our thing."
During the Colts (1-1) first two games of the season the team limited the Bears' Matt Forte to 80 yards on 16 carries in the first game, and in Sunday's 23-20 victory over Minnesota, Adrian Peterson carried for 60 yards on 16 carries. It's this type of effort that the Colts will need Sunday in their first AFC South match-up when the Jaguars come into town.
"Like I have said before, in order for us to be where we want to be in December, we have to take care of home and everybody in our division," said defensive end Cory Redding.
"The Jaguars just happen to be our first opponent, so we are going to have to gear up. I'm sure they are going to come in here and be fired up to get a win. Our job at the end of the day though is to get it done to get that win."