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How big a role for Redskins RB Matt Jones?


How big a role for Redskins RB Matt Jones?

RICHMOND—In 2014 the Redskins ran 1006 plays from scrimmage. Jay Gruden called 401 running plays and 605 passes (that’s 547 pass attempts and 58 sacks). The math is pretty simple; if you round it off, that comes to 60 percent passes and 40 percent runs. The Redskins are looking to drastically alter that script in 2015.

It was not exactly shocking when Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network that the Redskins plan a run-heavy attack. “The Redskins are going to want to pound it and run the ball a lot more than they ever did, especially since they drafted physical running back Matt Jones,” said Rapoport, who spend some time at Redskins training camp here this week.

The mention of Jones, however, was somewhat intriguing.

"They see [Jones] as the kind of guy who will pound it at a defense late, especially when they still have the lead,” he said. “No, he's not the bell cow yet -- it's still going to be Alfred Morris -- but at this point what the Redskins hope is to be a tough, physical running team and make plays in the passing game just when they need to on third down and in the red zone."

Does this mean that the Redskins will try to build a lead with Morris in the lineup and then turn to a relatively fresh, physical Jones to finish things off? Perhaps but first we’ll have to find out if the team can actually get some leads to protect. That’s not only on the offense but the defense and special teams have to contribute as well.

If game situations allow it, the Redskins would like to run the ball as much as anyone in the league. That would mean something in the neighborhood of 500 rushing attempts.

How might 500 carries be divided up? Let’s start with giving 250 to Morris. That would be down a bit from the 265 he had last year but if he can average 4.5 yards per carry he would end up with over 1,100 yards.

Jones could get as many as 125 carries, about eight per game, if there are several leads that need to be protected and he’s the guy to do it. That would leave about 125 rushing attempts for the other running back, quarterback scrambles, and the occasional carry by a wide receiver on a reverse or an end around.

This all looks fine on paper in August. It will go out the window if things don’t go as planned on the field in September and October. 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.