The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to appear ready to call Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout bluff: Even if the All-Pro back ends his holdout before the first week of the NFL regular season, head coach Mike Mularkey told the media they'll start Rashard Jennings over Jones-Drew.
"Again, Rashad Jennings is going in as the starter. I don’t know how that came out being any different," Mularkey said.
Mularkey was diplomatic regarding the situation, but was quick to praise Jennings, a back he calls "faster than you think." So far in the preseason, Jennings is averaging 4.9 yards a carry through three preseason games:
"I think he can be a really good football player. A really good back. From what I’ve seen on tape before I got here and what I’ve seen in person, I’d say we’ll be OK," Mularkey said.
Jennings is entering his fourth season in the league and third seeing time on the field, all with Jacksonville. The former Liberty University start has rushed for 661 yards, but missed the 2011 season on injured reserve after a knee injury and a concussion knocked him in last year's preseason.
Jones-Drew entered the 33rd day of his holdout from the Jags on Wednesday, having accrued over $1 million in team fines.