Some highlights of Maurice Jones-Drew's conference call with the Tennessee media.
He said he’s only text messaged with David Garrard since learning Tuesday that the Jaguars released him. “Yesterday was a very sad day,” Jones-Drew said. “I think it kind of hit everybody. He’s a great guy, he’s always done right by us. We kind of gave him his space… His impact on this organization was huge. It’s a tough decision. They made it.”
He touted fellow UCLA Bruin Akeem Ayers and said while the Titans are bigger, they’ve always been a tough-minded defense that was hard to play against. “UCLA didn’t have much but him, so he did a lot,” Jones-Drew said. “We’re studying the way he pass rushes. He’s a great tackler, a big hitter, very fast, strong. So he has all the tools.”
Jones-Drew weighs about 205, down from a playing weight of 215 or 217 last season.
Asked about the idea that Wayne Weaver is playing it cheap with over $30 million in free salary cap room, he said: “I don’t know about cheap. I wouldn’t say that. He obviously made me one of the highest paid running backs at the time, so I wouldn’t say that was cheap at all. I think they’re just very smart … we’ve got a solid team that we think we can win with … and we are going to win with.”
On making difficult decisions: “It’s tough, I’m a decision-maker on Madden and in fantasy football and it’s tough to do that stuff, but you’ve got to pull the plug sometimes.”
He was complimentary of new Titans middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, but said he’s biased about former middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch. “I’m a little biased when it comes to shorter people. I’d say Tulloch was one of the better middle linebacker in the league. I’m pretty happy they got rid of him because he was one of the only guys I knew that got lower than me and then hit me under the chin. But Barrett Ruud's a very smart guy, very aggressive at the point of attack. We know he’s going to study us and study our tendencies, and get those guys in the right place to be successful. He brings a totally different mentality to that defense we haven’t seen, we haven’t seen a linebacker like that. It’s going to be a great challenge."