After the Redskins released Alfred Morris and let him sign with the division rival Dallas Cowboys one thing became perfectly clear, the Redskins were moving in a different direction. The move made sense, Alfred Morris was a back that carried a heavy load for the Redskins for multiple seasons and was a remnant of a zone blocking scheme that the team was moving away from.
The next in line to start is second year back Matt Jones. Jones showed a flash of greatness last year with his 123 yard game against the St. Louis Rams early in the season. He also showed that he was just a rookie and still had a long way to go when he fumbled the ball 5 times to the tune of 4 lost fumbles. Jones had this to say about his fumbling issue, “The ball is worth more than a couple yards, so me getting a couple yards without the ball doesn’t benefit us. I still got to protect the ball more”. This is an issue that can often be corrected with experience an maturity. Over his time with the Broncos, Clinton Portis had a fumble rate of 1.4% per 100 carries. When he joined the Redskins Clinton Portis was able to drop that percentage down closer to 1%.
Jay Gruden had this to say about giving Jones the job, “He’s a big, strong, powerful back that I think can handle the workload; time will tell on that. We’re taking a bit of a gamble here”. Gruden said something very similar about Kirk Cousins last year and it worked out for the Redskins.
This is the year Redskins fans and coaching staff alike will find out if Matt Jones is an every down back or if his role will be similar to last year. Do you think Matt Jones can be the Redskins lead back? Let us know in the comments.