How the Oakland Raiders Can Get the Most out of Maurice Jones-Drew

A pair of notable numbers don't support new Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

The first is the number 29. That is how old Jones-Drew turned on the 23rd of March this year. The former Jacksonville Jaguars feature back has been in the NFL for eight seasons. During that time he has accumulated 1,804 carries and 335 receptions.

Considering how quickly careers end at the running back position these days, it's not a surprise that there are very few 30-year-olds giving teams quality snaps.

The other notable number that will likely scare Raiders fans ahead of the coming season is 3.4. That was Jones-Drew's average per carry on 234 rushing attempts last season. It was a career worst for a player who has averaged 4.5 yards per carry over his career and at least 4.4 since 2009.

For a couple of reasons, both of these numbers shouldn't be as daunting as they initially appear.

Yes, Jones-Drew is 29 years old and, obviously, he can't be a 300 touch player anymore. However, it should also be noted that Jones-Drew averaged 4.8 yards per carry before being injured in 2012 and 4.7 yards per carry on 343 carries the year before.

If Jones-Drew was a Chris Johnson or LeSean McCoy type of running back, then there would be a major problem with his age. He isn't a back who is reliant on his athleticism and explosive ability to be successful, though.

The veteran runner is a very technical, compact running back who relies on his vision, footwork and power between the tackles to be effective.

His 3.4 average in 2013 suggests that his power has dropped off with age. However, Jones-Drew's average dropped off for a multitude of reasons.

Two primary reasons stand out. First, he was clearly still recovering from the injury he suffered in 2012 for the first half of last season. That slowed him down a lot, but there were flashes of his previous power and explosion. Secondly, he p...

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