MJD, Del Rio return to Bay Area roots

The Jaguars came through with two very good conference calls today. Both gentlemen, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and coach Jack Del Rio, went to high school in the East Bay and gave us a nice chunk of their time.


The Jags are 6-4 with three consecutive victories entering their game Sunday at Candlestick Park against the 49ers, who have lost five of six. Prior to its mini-run into the AFC playoff picture, Jacksonville got schooled, 41-0, at Seattle.


Jones-Drew said he will attend the De La Salle playoff game Friday night against Football. His alma mater has two losses this season. That’s two more losses than Jones-Drew experienced during his entire career at DLS.




(Remember when I got my computer stolen last week? Well, I wasn’t alone. My buddy, Neil Hayes, who writes for the Chicago Sun-Times, had his computer in my car, too. His was lifted. Before Hayes went to Chicago, he was a Bay Area scribe, and he documented the De La Salle program in his 2003 book, “When the Game Stands Tall.” Jones-Drew’s image is featured on the cover of that book.)


Del Rio was a three-sport star at Hayward High. Four of his high school coaches will be his guests at Sunday’s game: Jim Bisenius, Charley Kendall, Joe Fuccy and Jeff Rankin.


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Jones-Drew has 926 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing on 194 carries. He also has 36 catches for 238 yards. At 5-foot-7, 200 pounds, Jones-Drew is also a demon as a blocker, and he’s fumbled just once all season. MJD is a powerful runner. His thighs measure 32 or 33 inches. His waist is 34 inches.


The 49ers own the No. 3 rushing defense in the league, but they’ve surrendered 100-plus yards to backs in two of the past three games. Here’s how the opposition’s featured back has done against the 49ers this season:



Arizona: Beanie Wells 7-29

Seattle: Julius Jones 8-11

Minnesota: Adrian Peterson 13-85

St. Louis: Steven Jackson 23-79

Atlanta: Michael Turner 22-97, 3 TDs

Houston: Steve Slaton 18-67, 1 TD

Indianapolis: Joseph Addai 20-62

Tennessee: Chris Johnson 25-135, 2 TDs

Chicago: Matt Forte 20-41

Green Bay: Ryan Grant 21-129, 1 TD


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Jones-Drew said he bought 150 tickets to the game, and might have as many as 1,000 family and friends in attendance. But that’s not necessarily great news for the Jags, who have a hard time getting that many fans to their home games. MJD says most of his friends are 49ers fans.


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When asked if he expects the 49ers to run more spread and shotgun on Sunday, Del Rio said he really could not care less. He said the Jags will be prepared for whatever the 49ers show on Sunday.


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