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Need to Know: Redskins RB Jones shows impressive speed


Need to Know: Redskins RB Jones shows impressive speed

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 23, one day before the Redskins travel to play the Giants.

Jones shows surprising speed

Like many people, I was pretty surprised in the first quarter of the Redskins’ game against the Rams when Matt Jones took a handoff from Kirk Cousins, headed down the left sideline and rolled past everyone 39 yards to the end zone. I knew he had good feet and was quick for a guy his size but I never had him pegged as a player with impressive speed. After all, the stopwatch at the NFL Combine timed him at 4.61 in the forty.

But this was some, dare I say it, John Riggins type speed. Back in Riggo’s day there wasn’t any way to quantify how fast players were. But now the NFL has a GPS sensor on every player and they can track the speed of each player. I came across this tweet from Chris Wesseling, a blogger for

In case you don’t know, “DHB” is wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, former of Maryland and the Raiders and currently of the Steelers. So Jones ran faster on the field than anyone on any NFL team in Week 2 with the exception of a speedy wide receiver.

Let’s do some math here. A person traveling at 21.70 m.p.h. will cover 40 yards in 3.77 seconds. Now, that not a legitimate 40 time since it doesn’t count acceleration time, only peak speed. Still, that is flat out moving for any player, let along one who is 6-2 and 230 pounds.

Jay Gruden said that the Redskins saw Jones’ speed on tape when he played for Florida.

“Yeah, he showed that when he burst out in the open field,” said Gruden. “And, you know, big, strong, fast men like that are hard to find. That’s why we’re very lucky to get him when we got him. He does have a rare combination of size and speed and he’s got good vision right now. We’ve just got to keep him going, keep him fresh.”

Jones’ run was the Redskins’ longest touchdown run since Robert Griffin III bolted 76 yards for six points against the Vikings in 2012. Jones doesn’t possess that kind of speed but he could turn out to be a special player if the Redskins find the right way to utilize that rare speed and size combination.


Today’s schedule: Walkthrough before traveling to New York; no availability

Days until: Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 1; Eagles @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Falcons 18

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.


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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

The Redskins went into the offseason with their inside linebacker position very much up in the air. Starters Zach Brown and Mason Foster and top backup Will Compton were all heading into unrestricted free agency. They faced the prospect of needing to start all over.

Things started to look better in late January when Foster re-signed, agreeing to a two-year deal. “I had unfinished business here,” Foster said at the time.

As long as Brown remained unsigned, the Redskins also had unfinished business. They got it done yesterday as Brown inked what is reported to be a three-year deal worth $24 million. We will need to see some details to know just what the contract entails but it looks like a fair deal for both sides.


Compton remains unsigned. With Brown and Foster back he will not be in line for a starting job. We will see how things shake out for him.

Looking at the players under contract, the Redskins have Zach Vigil, who played well as a starter late in the season after injuries struck, Martrell Spaight, and Josh Harvey-Clemons.  

Vigil was released on the final roster cut and returned on November 15 after Compton went to injured reserve. He had 55 total tackles in seven games. If you project that out over a 16-game season that’s 126 tackles, which would have placed him in the top 10 in the NFL. He also plays special teams well. Vigil went from expendable last September to a very valued reserve at this point in time.

Spaight has been a spot starter when starters have been injured. This will be an important year for him as he goes into the final year of the contract he signed after the Redskins made him a fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft.


The Redskins might have been happier if Harvey-Clemons, a 2017 seventh-round pick, didn’t have to play all last year but injuries forced him into a regular role. He was converting from college safety to NFL nickel linebacker and was very much considered to be a project. Harvey-Clemons still needs to add some weight and he has a lot to learn. Still, even if injuries don’t hit this year he should play considerably more than the 93 snaps he logged as a rookie.

The Redskins usually carry nine total linebackers, going with either five inside and four outside or vice versa. So they could be set or perhaps they will bring back Compton or sign another veteran to compete with Spaight for the last roster spot.  

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.