EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The words rolled off of Maurice Jones-Drew's tongue so easily, one could almost expect the situation to unfold.
"I expect to start," said Jones-Drew, the league-leading rusher from last season who ended his 38-day holdout Sunday and has to prove to new Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey he's ready for this weekend's regular-season opener at Minnesota.
As easily the words came out, Jones-Drew understands he has to persuade his new coach he can be a vital part of the team's offense as soon as Sunday. For Jones-Drew, who rushed for 1,606 yards last season, the expectation of being a starter is more about his frame of mind in his first week of practice. He's more than a month behind his teammates in learning a new offense.
Because of the timing, Mularkey has said backup Rashad Jennings will start against the Vikings and Jones-Drew will spell him for an occasional series and serve as the third-down back. Jones-Drew knows it will be Mularkey's decision, but h...