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Jaguars' Leonard Fournette: Shedding pounds will lead to shedding tacklers

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The Sports Xchange
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) celebrates his two-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter on October 8, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) celebrates his two-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter on October 8, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is bidding that slimming down will aid in bulking up his statistics.

Fournette plans to weigh in at 224 pounds when training camp opens later this month, per the Florida Times-Union. The total is 11 pounds less than his playing weight of his rookie season, in which he rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns and had 36 receptions for 302 yards and a score in 13 games.

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"I feel like I play my best at that weight -- 223, 224 -- that's what I played in college," Fournette said. "Why not? I don't want to be average. I want to be above average, be the greatest one to play this game. I feel lighter, quicker and I have a lot of my burst.

"... At the end of the day, it's not about me and not about yards per carry. It's about the wins and losses."

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Fournette is bidding that the lighter weight will also provide a much-needed burst, as he was limited to a 3.9 yards per carry average. He also averaged 20.6 carries per contest, which was fourth-most in the league.

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The 23-year-old Fournette rushed for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns during his three-year career at LSU before being selected by the Jaguars with the fourth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

"Leonard is a playmaker, so we're trying to get him on the field as much as we can and keep pushing him over to third down and things of that nature," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said, per the newspaper. "He showed great growth in his first year from that because that's usually the toughest thing.

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"In the NFL week-to-week, each team has their own little unique package that you really have to study and try to get a bead on to be able to [have] pass protection pick-up. I really saw him at the end of the year do a great job of that. You want to see that again now."

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