Distractions sidetracked Marcedes Lewis

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcedes Lewis’ 2011 offseason was supposed to catapult him to new heights.

Coming off 10 touchdowns, he signed up for MMA training through Jay Glazer of Fox. And when he signed a five-year deal worth over $34 million a couple days into camp, the Jaguars were figuring they’d locked up a productive staple.

But Lewis’ follow-up campaign was a big disappointment -- down 19 catches, 240 yards and all 10 touchdowns. I wrote during the season that but for Titans running back Chris Johnson's struggles after signing a bigger deal, Lewis would have been ripped nationally.

What happened to that difference the MMA training was supposed to make?

“We put him in the best position we could physically. You could see him in camp physically just crushing people,” Glazer said. “Obviously having a young quarterback (in Blaine Gabbert), those two guys just never got on the same page. They just never got in a rhythm there.

“It’s a mental game, too. He had a bunch of distractions, he was distracted from doing what he was expected to do, and he knew it, too. He’s going to work with us again this year. I’ll tell you what, the fighters loved him more than anybody we ever worked with. He picked things up so much faster, he was the biggest freak of nature. If you go watch him early in camp and the preseason, especially in blocking, he was killing people. Just killing people.

“A lot of times guys have stuff off the field that affects them. We try to teach our guys that you’ve got to use that field or that cage as an oasis and nobody can touch you. But nobody knows what goes on. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances for guys.”