Maurice Jones-Drew: Leonard Fournette Is Proof Running Backs Are Important

March 29th, 2022

Gets love from former RB.

The other day on “Good Morning Football,” seen weekdays on NFL Network, a topic hashed out at the breakfast table was pet peeves about an NFL wives tale.

And while he confessed he is biased on the subject, former Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew argued that despite popular opinion, running backs are not being phased out and are important cogs in winning teams.

And who did he cite as Exhibit-A in his case? That would be Playoff Lenny with the Bucs.

“I don’t want to hear running backs are not important,” MJD said. He then began to laud Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht for retaining Playoff Lenny.

“He’s the reason they won the Super Bowl two years ago,” MJD said of Playoff Lenny.

He’s not wrong.

Playoff Lenny had an excellent 2020 postseason. The bigger the game got, the better Playoff Lenny played. His power touchdown run against the Packers made Mike Alstott smile. Then against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, in the second half, the Chiefs defenders wanted no part of Playoff Lenny. You could see dudes pulling up rather than trying to tackle him. They threw in the towel. Playoff Lenny turned the Chiefs defense into soft quitters.

MJD has a solid point. When you have a back like Playoff Lenny, he can win you games. Important games.

18 Responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew: Leonard Fournette Is Proof Running Backs Are Important”

  1. David Says:

    Absolutely. I still think there are a few that should ever be taken in round one of the draft.
    It’s also not the same as it was just a decade ago. It’s such a passing league now that the running back needs to be able to pass protect and receive, hence Ronald Jones is gone

  2. Outsider Says:

    It still makes me smile how he made Anzalone his b1tch with that receiving td against the saints.

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Super glad that #7 is back with the bucs however MJD has to be the top 5 unprepared analysts on tv, the guy is a joke

  4. teacherman777 Says:

    If we had fed him the rock, we would have beaten the Rams!

    We had the ball in the Rams territory, 3rd and 2 and we went for a deep pass!

    We then missed a long field goal!

    3rd and short? Give Lenny the frukkin ball!!!!

  5. Dooley Says:

    That TD in Lambeau

  6. SufferingSince76 Says:

    No matter how much today’s NFL becomes a passing league, a good running game is essential. Fournette is that guy.

  7. Nickster82 Says:

    Lenny is a huge asset for the team. O line is pivotal also. Makes offense unpredictable and gives you a multifaceted playbook. Lenny runs harder as the game goes also. Wears defense’s down. Blocks, slows pass rush, and has improved his catching out of the backfield well enough Brady wanted him back. There’s no way you tell me that Sneak would be just as good. I like sneak but different type of running back. Don’t see the power run game being his best attribute.

  8. Dapostman Says:

    I can remember when we had Barber, RoJo and Dare. 3 guys who couldn’t catch a cold let alone a football. Every position is valuable in football. Some more than others.

  9. Adam's Angry Says:

    Where was this wisdom when the Bucs picked OJ Howard over Dalvin Cook – who is STILL with the Vikings, I might add.

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    Great RBs can be counted on every game to be a central figure in the game and upon whom a game plan can be based. Barry Sanders. Emmett Smith. Eric Dickerson. Walter Payton. Jim Brown. Earl Campbell.

    These guys, outside of Derrick Henry, don’t exist today or get rotated. A ball control Offense and a solid Defense was the game in the 1970s and 1980s until Air Coryell began changing things. Then the rules kept favoring passing and the best athletes started playing WR and TE.

    And here we are. A team can come from behind in 13 seconds. Evolution is wild.

  11. unbelievable Says:

    @teacherman – Yup.

    Or if Todd Bowles didn’t call a blitz with less than 30 seconds left and the Rams needing to get 40+ yards…

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    This makes Fanman smile! There are few teams that win championships without an EFFECTIVE run-game…or DEFENSE!

  13. SB Says:

    Ken you misspelled Jonathan Taylor there.

  14. BUCman Says:

    I rarely agree with anything Maurice Jones-Drew says but in this case I do. Lenny accounted for nearly 1300 yards and provided decent blitz pickup. So glad they signed him to a three year contract. Having a back that can play all three downs is huge because it doesn’t telegraph what your doing like it does if you have a guy who is only in on run downs or a guy who is only in on pass downs. Kudos to Jason Licht for getting it done!

  15. Duane Says:

    I can still hear him running over guys and giggling.

  16. steele Says:

    MJD in his prime was everything Lenny is not and never will be.

  17. Leighroy Says:

    Running backs have always been important, but what is up for contention is their $ value per player.

    CMC and Cook this year both proved that you can’t tie up $16mil a year in 1 guy within a position group, with high propensity to injury, to the detriment of other skill position talent. Same reason you don’t burn premium draft capital on the position either – Saquon Barkley for latest example. You think Jerry wouldn’t mind having more cap to resign guys this spring had he not been 15mil committed to Zeke?

    An elite qb and good RB go further than a good QB and an elite RB. Lenny is tied for 11th highest paid RB in the league, but $7mil a year is a much more palatable value.

  18. John Collins Says:

    Cannot deny that money talks @leighroy but @teacherman that 3rd and 2 Lenny was hot Gronk would have made space