Maurice Jones-Drew chats with The Scores Report

As part of Super Bowl week, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute is conducting athlete performance testing on several NFL players at the Gatorade Performance Lab in order to help educate athletes about their individual fluid needs, the fuels used during exercise, and how the new G Series fits into their training before, during and after workouts and games.

One of the players that will be going through Gatorade’s program is Jaguars’ star Maurice Jones-Drew, who was gracious enough to sit down with us before he partook in the testing. He filled us in on how he got involved with Gatorade, what he expects from the testing and how G Series can help him in his training. He also filled us in on who he likes for Super Bowl XLIV, what his first Pro Bowl experience was like and what the Jaguars have to do in order to get to the NFL title game.

Maurice Jones-Drew: Anthony!

The Scores Report: Maurice! How are you, man?

MJD: Great, how are you?

TSR: Good! So, this Gatorade athlete performance testing they’re about to put you through sounds wild. How did you get involved in something like this?

MJD: Well, they’re definitely going to help my training out a bunch. I go through pretty vigorous workouts and I’m always tired after, so Gatorade got in touch with my agent and said that they’ve found a way to help my workouts. To be a professional in this league you have to go through some rigorous things in order to recover. What they have is this thing called G Series and they have a drink that you drink before your workout to give you a little boost of energy, they have a drink to help you maintain that energy throughout your workout and then at the end, they have a drink that helps you recover quickly. So, your workouts are more efficient and you’ll be able to maintain your energy pretty close to 100% throughout it.

TSR: This is a pretty cool concept. Were you familiar with this testing before hand or is this your first experience with it?

MJD: I didn’t know too much about it; I learned about it in the last week. So what they’re going to have me do in order to figure out what’s best for my workouts and training regiment, is they’re going to have me ride a bike so they can figure out if I’m burning more calories through carbohydrates or through fat. That’s going to let me know that if I’m burning more carbohydrates I have to eat more carbohydrates, or if I’m burning more fat I have to eat more fat and less carbohydrates. So, it’s definitely going to help me out a bunch because I’m strict with what type of foods I eat and what foods to stay away from.

TSR: Now, I know they have Gatorade on the sidelines during games, but were you familiar with Gatorade before agreeing to do this testing? Have you worked with them before?

MJD: Oh, I’m very familiar – I was with them for their “Beat the Heat” campaign. Obviously it’s a great product and they’re always trying to better themselves and when you have a company that wants to better itself, you always want to be a part of it.

TSR: What other events will you take part in with Gatorade this week?

MJD: I did a signing with them in the Pro Bowl, but obviously this testing is the big one.

TSR: And what’s your favorite G Series flavor?

MJD: I just did the “Berry Prime,” which was awesome. I wanted to drink another one but they said it would be too much.

TSR: (Laughs) Since you haven’t done the testing yet, which part are you most excited about?

MJD: Well, the urine test was pretty cool – I already did that. So…that was cool.

TSR: (Laughs) Uh – that is cool.

MJD: (Laughs) Yeah.

TSR: Is this something that you would pass along to your teammates?

MJD: Most definitely. All this can do is help you – it’s not going to hurt you. If you do it and you decide not to use the information they give you that’s fine, but it’s nothing that’s going to hinder you from playing. I think it’s a great deal though.

TSR: I read that they’re going to have you on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Is this something that you can handle after playing in the Pro Bowl yesterday?

MJD: Well, they switched it to a bike because the treadmill wasn’t going to work for me.

TSR: (Laughs) I imagine that you have some tired legs after a full 16-game season and after playing last night.

MJD: Yeah, and running down on kickoffs and stuff and making tackles.

TSR: Congratulations by the way on making your first Pro Bowl.

MJD: Thank you, I appreciate it.

TSR: How cool was it to reach the end zone in your first Pro Bowl appearance?

MJD: Very exciting – very exciting. You always want to be a part of something prestigious as the Pro Bowl and to go out there and score my first touchdown and win the game was very exciting.

TSR: It looked like the Jaguar mascot mugged you on your way back to the sidelines – you all right after that?

MJD: No, he didn’t mug me. The whole premise was that I was Steve Mariucci, who always cries when he hears about Brett Favre. So I hugged the Vikings’ mascot, who represented Brett Favre, and then (the Jaguar mascot) was consoling me on my way back to the sidelines.

TSR: (Laughs) Did you set that up before hand, or what?

MJD: It was pre-thought out – it was.

TSR: Yeah, because Mike Tirco said on the broadcast, “enough of the mascot” and I was wondering why he walked you all the way back to the sideline. I figured it was a mugging.

MJD: Nah, no mugging. It was a fun time.

TSR: Was it nice to have your teammate David Garrard down there with you as well?

MJD: Yeah, you always want somebody you know to be with you there. It makes it a little easier on you and it was definitely exciting.

TSR: Even though this was your first Pro Bowl, do you like that it was done before the Super Bowl this year?

MJD: Uh no, I didn’t like that it was done before the Super Bowl. I’d rather it be done after so that everyone can play.

TSR: Sure, it was kind of weird that you have Peyton Manning and Drew Brees on the sidelines because they’re playing this week.

MJD: Exactly.

TSR: Are you going to be down in Miami all week for the Super Bowl?

MJD: Yeah.

TSR: Very cool, so what’s your prediction for the game? Obviously you play the Colts twice a year so are you leaning toward with them?

MJD: Yeah definitely, although I could go either way because the Saints do a great job of causing turnovers. Peyton Manning is going to have to be on his toes, as well as Drew Brees because I think both defenses are playing at a high level right now.

TSR: You’ve played against Dwight Freeney many times throughout your career. What kind of impact will his injury have on the game if he can’t play?

MJD: When you have two defensive ends of the Colts’ caliber, then it definitely works in their favor. If you try to focus on shutting down one, the other one is going to go ahead and do his thing. But when one guy is out, you can focus on the other and pretty much close him out. So hopefully Dwight will be able to play but if not, I still think Robert Mathis will be able to do some good things. It gives the Saints a better chance of winning though.

TSR: Are you going to the game on Sunday?

MJD: No, I don’t ever go but I’ll be watching it on TV.

TSR: What will it take for the Jaguars to get where the Colts and Saints are?

MJD: Just continue to build on what we’ve started and as players, just get better each year. That’s all it is – there’s no magic. Get better at your job, continue to improve and just have fun. That’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

TSR: How did you think your young offensive gelled throughout the year?

MJD: Oh, they did a great job. Obviously without them I wouldn’t have gotten nearly 1,400 yards, so they did an awesome job. Just to be thrown in Week 1 as young tackles and to play against the Colts twice, those guys did well. I’m excited about what they did and I can’t wait to play with them again.

TSR: Well MJD, I know you have to get to your testing so I’ll let you go but I wish you the best of luck today and next season, and I thank you for sitting down with us.

MJD: No problem, no problem.

TSR: And good luck with all the testing – I’m glad I’m not in your shoes, although I would like to get my hands on some of that “Berry Prime” you’re raving about.

MJD: I think that’s where it’s at!

TSR: (Laughs) Thanks man – have a great day.

MJD: Thanks – you too.

For those that want to check out how MJD did in the testing, you can see it on ustream.tv.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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