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Matt Jones changed his offseason approach, and diet, to get ready as Redskins RB1

Matt Jones changed his offseason approach, and diet, to get ready as Redskins RB1

RICHMOND - With Alfred Morris playing his football in Dallas this season, the Redskins plan to give second-year man Matt Jones every opportunity to be the lead running back on a team that won the division last year. For his part, Jones recognizes how big of a chance he's got.

"I'm just going to take every opportunity I get and make the most of it," Jones said.

So far in camp, the Redskins certainly are using Jones as the top runner. He gets the first rep in individual drills, and running backs coach Randy Jordan is working with the former Florida Gator on what seems like every snap. Emphasizing body lean and ball control, Jordan watches intently as Jones works through drills.


Throughout the offseason, Jones has seemed like a different player than his rookie season. 

"My approach was way different this offseason, as it should have been, just knowing I had an opportunity to compete for the starting role," he said. 

Jones explained that he hired a personal trainer to work with all offseason, and in the last few weeks before camp, he came up to Ashburn to work out with Chris Baker's trainer. 

"You can tell he worked extremely hard this summer," Redskins veteran left tackle Trent Williams said of Jones. 

Adding a personal trainer isn't the only thing Jones changed, as he worked with a massage therapist and made changes with his food.

"I did change my diet," Jones said. "I ate pretty bad last year, fried chicken all the time."

The fried chicken had to go, Jones explained. 

"Baked chicken for the most is my favorite now," he said. "Usually it's my personal trainer that sets it up for me."

Beyond the personal trainer and diet change, Jones said he learned a lot after his rookie year about taking care of his body.

"Learning some stuff from last year, you got to give your body some rest," he said. "And you got to know when and how to do things with your body."


In a rookie season where he missed three games - and had less than 10 carries in five other games - the best news for the Redskins might be that Jones is now preparing for a long season. His stats for 2015 don't impress, particularly a 3.4 yards-per-carry average, but when Jones looked right, he showed tremendous potential. In a Week 2 win over the Rams, Jones put up nearly 150 all purpose yards with two touchdowns and averaged 6.47 YPC. In a Week 8 win over New Orleans, Jones posted 187 total yards with another TD.

The talent is there with Jones, and now with a more focused outlook and an offseason of better preparation, perhaps the Redskins run game can improve from 2015's poor performance. His teammates believe so.

"I truly believe this could be a breakout year," Williams said of Jones. 


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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.