Having Alfred Morris is nice, but he’s a two-down kind of running back. The Washington Redskins are hoping that they’ve solved that problem with Matt Jones, their draft pick out of Florida.
Jones played three seasons for the Gators, rushing for 817 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2014. Not the most mind blowing numbers for a college running back, but he did play for Will Muschamp, clueless when it comes to offense, so there is that. A third round, 95th overall selection, the Redskins didn’t pick him to become the new vanguard of their offense.
While Morris has been quite the stud through the first three seasons of his NFL career, he’s a non-existent passing threat and therefore not really usable in third and long situations. There’s hope that Jones is going to quickly develop into someone that can relieve Morris on passing downs and overall, giving the team’s leading rusher more rest than he’s had in the last couple of seasons, seeing his yards-per-carry number slowly diminish.
There are two types of comments by head coaches about players, especially younger ones, during the offseason. There’s the 100% backing and complimentary road, and then there’s the route of not letting success of improvement get to their head. Jay Gruden is trying to keep Jones grounded, and not let media and fan expectation of him turn into something that’s a problem.
That’s what training camp is for and the preseason games, and Alfred is a darn good halfback, so in order to take carries off of him, you’ve got to show a lot. We’ll see if Matt can show us he deserves some as well.