Running back won't be a pressing need for the Jaguars in this weekend's NFL draft, now that Stacey Mack is secure in the team's stable of runners.
The signing period for restricted free agents expired yesterday without Mack having signed an offer sheet from another team. That means Mack will play for the Jaguars this season at the $563,000 salary the team tendered previously this spring.
Mack led the Jaguars in rushing (877 yards) and touchdowns (nine) last season, and re-joins Fred Taylor and Elvis Joseph in the Jaguars' backfield in 2002.
Coach Tom Coughlin made it clear in an interview this past Friday that he wanted to retain Mack's services. "Sure I do. You have to have more than one (running back)," Coughlin said, referring to the backup role Mack would play to the oft-injured Taylor.
Mack lodged himself in Coughlin's doghouse in the fourth game of last season, when Mack was benched after his second fumble in Seattle. He accepted his demotion gracefully, then rebounded to become one of the hottest running backs in the league over the last month of the season.