Posted 8/8/2006 1:52 AM
The Jaguars are deep at running back.
Coach Jack Del Rio says it's the deepest position on the team.
Maurice Drew, their second round pick, has joined a group that includes Fred Taylor, Greg Jones, Derrick Wimbush, Alvin Pearman and LaBrandon Toefield.
Unless one of them is injured Ã¢â‚¬â€ and they're all healthy right now Ã¢â‚¬â€ one of them is likely to be headed out of town.
The conventional wisdom is that one of the youngsters Ã¢â‚¬â€ Wimbush, Pearman or Toefield Ã¢â‚¬â€ will be on the chopping block.
But the possibility has to be raised that the Jaguars could cut Taylor if the young players emerge.
The key to Taylor's future may be Greg Jones.
He suffered a serious knee injury in his junior year in college and appeared to lose the burst that made him a projected first round choice before he suffered the injury.
In his final year in college and his first two years with the Jaguars, he wasn't the player he was before he was injured.
The Jaguars turned him into a fullback and a short yardage runner.
But as he heads into his fourth season since he suffered the injury, he's been getting rave reviews by coach Jack Del Rio. Del Rio was particularly impressed with him in the team scrimmage. He averaged almost five yards a carry with 19 yards in four carries.
"I think his feet are as alive and active as they have been since he's been here. He was outstanding (in the scrimmage). He made some terrific cuts. He ran with power and determination," he said.
Del Rio said it's fair to suggest that his running ability is improving because it's been four years since the surgery.
If he can replace Taylor as an every down back and Drew shows he can add explosive threat, the Jaguars might decide they don't need Taylor.
The relationship between Taylor and Del Rio went downhill when Taylor, who wanted a new contract, skipped the team's offseason program.
Then he suffered a mild hamstring pull in the conditioning run before camp. He saw limited duty the first week although he did go in the scrimmage and got nine yards in three carries.
But the Taylor situation bears close watching. It could be that Taylor will have such a good preseason that the Jaguars decide they can't let him go.
There's no doubt, though, that he's fighting for a job...