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Need to Know: How much will Jones line up with Redskins’ first team?

Jul 10, 2015, 4:45 AM EDT

McCoy-Matt Jones

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 10, 20 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Nickel coverage

We’re a shade less than three weeks away from the start of training camp and I’m starting to review my “what to look for” notes. Here are five of them on the offense side of the ball, I’ll look at some on defense in the next few days.

Will the walking wounded be in action? Trent Williams (ankle), Jordan Reed (knee), and Morgan Moses (foot) missed most or all of OTAs and minicamp with injuries. Although we got the usual happy talk that they should be fine for camp, I don’t believe it until I see them lining up in pads for 11 on 11 work. Missing Williams, of course, would be a major problem. They have kind of gotten used to playing without Reed given his injury problems and Moses is slated for a backup role.

Does Robert Griffin III continue the progress he displayed in the spring? He was not razor sharp in what we saw but it looked like most of what was wrong was fairly easily correctable. However, the eye can be deceiving when they are playing in shorts and helmets. The speed and intensity pick up when the pads go on and we’ll see if Griffin continues to look good.

Who wins the backup quarterback battle? From what we saw in OTAs and minicamp Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins were fairly even with Cousins perhaps holding a slight edge. They also seemed to split the reps with the second team. But the media wasn’t there for all of the OTAs and it will be good to get a day-to-day picture of how they are performing in pads.

How much does Matt Jones line up with first offense? The third-round pick was in there with the first team early and often this spring. That could have been in part because Alfred Morris doesn’t need that much work and Jay Gruden repeatedly said that Morris was still the primary running back. But I want to see it and if Jones gets a lot of time with the first team in practice I have to think he’ll get a lot of snaps when the games count.

How is the revamped right side of the line doing? Spencer Long has scant NFL experience and Brandon Scherff has none. The will be counted on to upgrade the pass protection on that side and handle run blocking on a team that is tends to be right handed in the running game (144 rushes to right, 120 to the left). They looked fine in shorts but, again, pads will reveal much, much more about their progress.


—It’s been 194 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 65 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 20; Preseason opener @ Browns 34; final cuts 57

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In case you missed it

  1. troylok - Jul 10, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    Of course, I am most interested in RG3’s progress because “as goes the QB, so goes the team”. That said, the right side of the offensive line will be high on my “hope to see” list. It has been a long time since we had someone “own” the right tackle spot and with Long at guard, it will be the first time in a very long time where that side of the line could dominate.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jul 10, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    Agreed Rich! Williams is of big concern.

    Reed quite honestly – I’d rather see Matt Jones on the field in the 11th man position than Jordan Reed any day and all day. I’d rather see MORRIS and Jones than MORRIS and Reed.

    Morris can’t block/downfield block (or ranks extremely low compared to average backs) pass protect, or catch. Reed can’t block, downfield block, or pass protect either. At least Jones has proven he is a complete back. He can catch, block, downfield block and pass protect.

    I know everyone will say how does college translate to NFL, Matt has not proved it. I answer that by saying, Reed and MORRIS proved in college they could not block, pass protect, and MORRIS could not catch in college and it translated to the NFL. They still can’t.

    That is why Morris and Jones, or even Jones and Reed, are much better combinations than Morris and Reed.

    We will see this difference once the pads are on for sure.

    Based on this, my bet is Jones sees equal time to Morris, unless Morris learns to block and pass protect.

  3. bk70 - Jul 10, 2015 at 6:17 AM

    Rich, your walking wounded list, did you forget to add DeAngelo Hall and Ryan Kerrigan? Does the coach or GM decide who will go on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) roster?

    I’d like to see Hall make it back from his injury, but I’d rather see the other DBs play without him throughout training camp. Everybody else needs to show up for the entire camp.

  4. colorofmyskinz - Jul 10, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    The biggest questions we should be asking:
    – how the hell did we get from January through May without knowing Williams had a torn ligament?
    – how the hell did we get from January through May not knowing Karagen had knee problems?
    – and how the hell did we get from January through May without knowing that Reed had knee problems?

    That is complete and utter failure of our trainers and medical staff.

    Williams was a no brainer. We visibly saw his injury in December. And I guarantee read and Karagen were both complaining about soreness in their knees in December as well.

    We gave up five months of rehab and recovery because somebody dropped the ball in a huge way.

    • Juced211s - Jul 10, 2015 at 8:08 AM

      Colorskinz – I think tha fact that there have been no leaks out redskins park is a testament to the ship Scott McC runs. I would like to think the team knew of these ailments but the fans didnt…..which is the way it should be.

      • gonavybeatarmy - Jul 10, 2015 at 9:35 AM


        I agree that the leak stoppage is a huge change in the way this dysfunctional organization has done business since the current majority owner bought the team over a decade and a half ago. This team’s history of leaks has been an absolute embarrassment, and given the competition information they shouldn’t have. And this obvious change must be attributable to and coincides with McCloughan’s arrival.

        Personally, I’d like to see the organization go full Patriots and keep everything in-house and give the media nothing as the Skins used to do under Gibbs and Beathard. I also wish someone, preferably McCloughan, would sit down Jay Gruden and tell him to shut his mouth this season- short answers, no long press conferences. He talked way too much last year and should be forced to watch Belichik do a press conference.

      • colorofmyskinz - Jul 10, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        The big question is not about when we found out… The problem is that they chose to go under the knife in May vs. January. How the hell could they waste 5 months of recovery and rehab? They knew damn well Reed, KERRIGAN, and Williams had issues requiring these procedures in January. They might of had a better outcome with Williams had they found the tare in December vs May. WTF. It was torn then not May. But do rehab in June for a tare in Decrmber?

        That is a big fn problem. Williams, Reed, and KERRIGAN should have gone under the knife in January, not May. Williams may have missed his surgical option to create a longer term fix vs a hopeful repair with time off in June? That makes no sense whatsoever with a tare in December.

        Honestly, Damn close to medical malpractice! On an NFL team. Only in DC.

        • skinsgame - Jul 11, 2015 at 7:55 AM

          You do not know the whole story and you might never. They are not horses, they’re humans and they too may have elected to put off surgical procedures just as Laron Landry did, year after year. Don’t start throwing around “malpractice” just yet.

  5. berniebernard666 - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    to each his own. Some of you act as though we are talking military secrets with nuclear threats being exposed. I want to know what is going on with the team. No…don’t need backstabbing in the press but I do want to know the truth about who is injured and for a change….how about being HONEST about it.

    We heard Stephen Bowen tell us he would be fine but he wasn’t. We didn’t even know about Cofields hernia surgery until a week or so AFTER the surgery. And Griffin was NEVER healthy in his 2nd year and that was obvious because he was wearing a knee brace the whole time, despite his claims that he was 100%. Lies, Lies, and More Lies. I am glad for you that you like lies and everything kept in house, but for me, I want the truth………FOR A CHANGE.

    • Juced211s - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:33 AM


      I see your point, but not providing information should not be misconstrued as a lie. As Color stated, would just be nice if they didn’t talk so much. I like hearing Tandler’s and others analysis as opposed to drama, backstabbing and bickering. Just my 2 cents.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:57 AM

      Nobody’s talking about state or nuclear secrets. We know what this is- professional football, a form of intense entertainment for tens of millions. Hyperbole and false equivalents are lame.

      The Patriots have been to six Super Bowls under Belichik, and they could have won all six. The Ravens also give the media and fans the absolute minimum amount of information required under league rules and they are perpetually in the hunt. The Skins, conversely, haven’t sniffed a Super Bowl in nearly a quarter century, and yet the team has seemingly had an open book policy on information through either leaks or because of incompetence. The team should go radio silent, which it appears to be finally doing under the first real executive it has had in decades.

      I don’t want to know Trent Williams’ real health status. More importantly, I don’t want the Miami Dolphins and Saint Louis Rams’ coaching staff knowing his status. And Belichik sure as hell would never fully divulge the health of Brady’s blindside tackle.

      In the 80s, Gibbs gave the media and fans no information. Zilch. In fact, God-fearing Joe Jackson Gibbs seemingly used to lie about players regarding their injuries and he invented bizarre “rare blood disorders”. He was paranoid about it as was George Allen.

      Do what the good organizations do.

    • skinsgame - Jul 11, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      The team may also be playing it safe with medical information for liability sake. Doctors are not supposed to divulge patient information and the team may be taking that approach. It isn’t your natural born right to get an injury evaluation on an athlete.

  6. sidepull - Jul 10, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    We will never get the full story and I have no expectations of them telling the truth. I do appreciate them staying in house and perhaps Gruden toning down his delivery of information. Its a good look for the Redskins to stop all those sorry leaks. As long as we see positive production on game day I have nothing to beef about as a fan. I admire the way the Pats handle the media. Replicating that process here would be very helpful but I just don’t see that being in Grudens nature. We will see. Hope all injures are improving because we know more are on the way. Somebody always gets whacked in TC and or PS.

  7. mr.moneylover - Jul 10, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    I think it will be more then what ppl think heres why… alfred morris not gonna give them a choice but to play matt jones more because hes gonna struggle in pass protection and hes gonna struggle catching the ball like the last two year…people keep praising alfred morris for doing his job half a$$…he didnt even crack the top 100 list it shows he have a part in rg3 struggles with running the offense…dont be surprise if matt jones take over thats the plan anyway for next year but if he keep showing progress matt jones will be starting…jay gruden knows this year and next year is big for him he gotta show he can make adjustments to help this team get better…I bet the coach and GM going to disagree on the roster moves its peaceful now but wait until its time for the cuts to be made… scot m. not gonna come out and say anything public but if he disagree scot m. Will be looking for a new coach behind close doors who he trust that will make the right decisions for his team

  8. mr.moneylover - Jul 10, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Its safe to say jordan reed will be backup….I got a feeling that perry Riley wont be a starter week 1. …andre roberts will only start simply cause of the unknown status of Jamison Crowder case if there really is one…but my hope is Jamison Crowder to start next to desean jackson both is fast as hell and will put alot of pressure on DBs

  9. eenworom - Jul 12, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    skins have the WORST training staff in sports!!!!! Archives

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