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Maurice Jones-Drew backs NFL franchise in London

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew thinks an NFL franchise permanently based in London could work one day.

Speaking after the Jaguars 42-10 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium - the second NFL international series game this year - Jones-Drew said a regular team in the British capital wouldn't be a problem for the players.

"I don't think it would be a problem," Jones-Drew told GiveMeSport and other reporters at the press conference.

"We love this game enough. We travelled over here to play it. The only problem would be the eight-hour flight back to the States when we have to go back. If they're able to figure that out, you never know what could happen."

Speculation has linked the Jaguars franchise with a permanent berth in London. Jags owner Shahid Khan, who also owns Premier League club Fulham, has agreed to three consecutive home games for the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium over the next three years.

But while Jones-Drew was careful to pay tribute to the Jags' growing fan base in London, the talented running back was sure to let the loyal supporters back in Jacksonville know they're still appreciated.

"We have a lot of great fans in Jacksonville that support us," Jones-Drew continued. "It's tough when you have a lot of fans in the UK that like us as well.

"Obviously we'll be back here the next three years. Hopefully we can continue that."

The (0-8) Jaguars struggled to get much going on offence against the powerful (6-2) 49ers defence - but Jones-Drew did have some success on the ground.

The running back had 75 yards rushing on 19 carries and picked up another 47 yards receiving on six receptions.

Widely regarded to be one of the most fearsome defences in the NFL, Jones-Drew admitted the inside linebacker combination of NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis presented a real challenge for the running backs.

"Justin Smith is up front (defensive tackle), Ahmad Brooks comes off the edge, and their two inside linebackers, Patrick Willis and NaVarro Bownman, those two linebackers are All-Pros. [And] their corners do a great job of covering," said Jones-Drew.

"For me it is the two inside linebackers. To go against them, it's always good. When they say they're the best, to go out there and compete against them, play at a high level against them, that's what you want to do.

"Today it was a personal challenge for us running backs to go against their linebackers. We did the best we could."

Both the Jaguars and 49ers now travel back to the United States, and both teams have a bye week coming up.

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