Toby Gerhart: I can be 'dominant' for Jaguars


Jaguars coach Gus Bradley told Around The League last month that Toby Gerhart was more than ready to replace Maurice Jones-Drew as the bell-cow back in Jacksonville's backfield.

The former Minnesota Vikings understudy doesn't disagree.

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"I had the skill set to be a starter from the onset, but I was playing behind one of the best in the game," Gerhart recently said of Adrian Peterson, per The Florida Times-Union. "I've gotten comfortable with the speed of the game, but don't have the wear and tear on my body of someone carrying it 250 times a year.

"I think I'm in a unique situation. Even though it's my fifth year in the league, I can come in and be a dominant guy. I'm ready for my shot now."

Gerhart lands in Jacksonville with just 276 attempts over his first four seasons. Jones-Drew left for the Oakland Raiders with 962 totes over the same span, including an NFL-leading 343 in 2011.

Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson will see a piece of the action, but the Jaguars are intent to hand the ground game over to a 27-year-old back with no track record as a starter. Still, Gerhart produced when given a chance in Minnesota, chalking up 4.7 yards per carry and running with power. He's also the same guy who blasted his way to 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns for Stanford in 2009, barely losing the Heisman to Mark Ingram.

Bradley and general manager David Caldwell haven't hesitated to shake up this roster. The belief in Gerhart's ceiling is another shift toward younger players with upside. Of course, the new-look backfield will take time for Jaguars fans to adjust to with MJD not in unifirm for the first time since 2005.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the draft with NFL Films' Greg Cosell.