Mike Mularkey, Maurice Jones-Drew haven't met yet


We said throughout the summer that Maurice Jones-Drew's contract dispute could be the ugliest potential holdout of the 2012 season.

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We've gone from potential to reality and have no reason to change our stance. The Jacksonville Jaguars simply aren't going to cave and they aren't afraid to let everyone know about it.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com notes that Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey and running backs Sylvester Croom have never even met Jones-Drew.

"I don't know him at all," Mularkey said.

Usually, a coach pushes a front office to get his team's star player into work. Mularkey sounds unlikely to do that. After all, how can he push for a guy he doesn't know? Jaguars general manager Gene Smith likely isn't getting grief from his head coach.

"I don't drive home or sit in my office worrying about it," Mularkey said. "I don't waste the energy."

Mularkey is even going right to the holdout playbook by talking about Jones-Drew's replacement.

"I like big backs like that," Mularkey said. "He's going to be tough to tackle."

While there have been some struggles from the Jaguars passing game in camp, Jones-Drew's absence gives Blaine Gabbert a chance to shape this new offense to him. The Jaguars are not going to bend in this dispute.

Jones-Drew will show up for work eventually, but it probably won't be anytime soon. Expect Mularkey to keep playing hardball in the meantime.