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Need to Know: Redskins RB Jones shows impressive speed

Sep 23, 2015, 5:12 AM EDT


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

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    Matt Jones was another great addition by Scot. Scot alone has made the single greatest change in this team in More than 2 decades. I hope we can keep him.

    Rich do you know the details of Scots contract?

    Keeping Morris relevant while displaying Jones is critical. I am so glad we started the season with Morris’s highlights. Having 2 backs capable of dominating the field is critical to run the ball like we want.

    Gruden’s call of “fresh” is spot on. If we have 2 backs like this how does a defense defend it? I would like to see a 2 back set once in awhile and see them trade licks. That would keep the defenses off kilter. I would put Morris behind the QB and place Jones in a TE set every once in awhile. He could play the TE position with his hands.

    That would really keep the D guessing. We are going to roll over the Giants and wake up the world Thursday night. We have the NFLs attention.

    Time to shine!

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:52 AM

      Actually Jones could be played as a H-back

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      Scot m. Sign a 4-year deal so hes here for 3 more years and its likely dan synder will extend his contract before it expires….ppl getting happy after year 1 under scot m. Wait until year two or three this team will be at the top of the NFL contending for a super bowl… scot m. Gonna make this team stronger and stronger year by year

  2. colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    Is it possible while the Giants are planning how to load up the box to stop our run we are planning an air assault??

    Just sayin… HTTR

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      Do we have one, is the question? I like how Cousins has somewhat displayed fewer turnovers so far. Honestly though, Cousins looks like he is being used how RG3 was at times where most passes are …well very conservative. While his completion percentage looks nice; here are some real stats from last week.

      “There’s nothing wrong with completing 85 percent of your passes, but there’s a lot of empty calories here. Thirteen of those 23 completions failed to pick up a first down, and nine of them were considered failed plays. That includes a 2-yard loss on first-and-10 and three completions on third-and-14 or more that gained a total of 10 yards.”

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 7:00 AM

      We need to get the ball downfield more. The Ryan Grant pass deep should have been a touchdown but Cousins hit him off his back shoulder going the wrong direction. Cousins needs to get going hitting receivers deep because defenses have become well aware of the Redskins new run attack. They’ll be gearing for it and this opens ups big pass plays for Cousins. He just needs to make them happen.

      • bowlregard - Sep 23, 2015 at 7:49 AM

        A question about that play. The only views given on the telecast made it look like he wasn’t touched down. He got up to run but the whistle blew. I wonder if Grant feels he wasn’t touched.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 8:16 AM

          The angle we saw at the game looked like he was touched by a Ram defender.

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 11:07 AM

      Giants defensive line struggle to get to the QB they have to send in they DBs to put pressure on they QB….situations like this I wish we had desean jackson because he will have a monster game going up against that kinda defense

  3. colorofmyskinz - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    I say first play sell the run with a 2 back set MORRIS and Jones. Place Ross on the side and take a deep poke at the end zone and stretch the field on the first play. Would be unexpected and would force them to think pass. Then shove our 2 headed monster up their you know what!

  4. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    Speed Kills! At the game, it didn’t take a GPS for many to notice the difference with Jones running wide through a hole that just opened up and then around the secondary. It was impressive to see! Also the lead blocking with Scherff out front deserves a lot of credit.

    • ET - Sep 23, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      The blocking on that play was sweet all-around.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 23, 2015 at 5:45 PM

        Very true and I should have included Lauvao who sealed the last block for the TD.

  5. kenlinkins - Sep 23, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    A good friend of mine who played at Florida (and still lives in the U of FLA area) called me right after the Redskins picked Matt Jones in the draft and said “You guys are going to love this kid. Teaming him with Morris could become the best 1-2 punch in the NFL”. He thinks that all the coaching problems at Florida had crossed this kid up some what and that he had a hard time recovering from an illness one spring. “You haven’t seen the best of this kid yet and he is well worth a early 3rd round pick. He is build like a NFL player already and will not back down from NFL contract. Someone up there in DC knows what to look for”. I would said my friend was right on the money so far!

    • gasngo14 - Sep 23, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      Jones is a beast and they call him bruiser for good reason. His tenure at UF was very dysfunctional, having a different OC every season, having the worst OL probably in school history and no real threats around him in other skill positions.

      Matt is still learning and probably learned more from his high school program (Armwood High Tampa, FL) a juggernaut in high school football. Many say it is ran like a college program, VS UF at his time of tenure there. This kid weighed 210 in high school and many feared to even make contact with him at Armwood . Scot sure did his homework and has a great kid with a very bright future as long as the injury bug stays away!



  6. sidepull - Sep 23, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    Jones reminds me of Sean Taylor in a way. Big guys like that just are not supposed to run like that. Saw the article on Gronk being “greatest TE ever”. He weighs as much as the average HOG back in the glory days. He could have been an O lineman for the Hogs. And to think he is running wild downfield like he does. Amazing. These players now are just fun to watch. I hope Jones and Reed light them up in NY. No injuries and Hail!

  7. smotion55 - Sep 23, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    This is great news and would like to see him catch a few more passes. Great pick for the 3rd round.Lets see what pans out this week against the GIANTS- can he have back to back good games, and will Cousins have to pass to set up the run.

  8. bangkokben - Sep 23, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    The euphoria has worn off from Sunday’s victory and parallel implosion of division foes.

    Now is the time for the Redskins to assert themselves as division contenders and extinguish any hope for the Giants to use us as a springboard for their season.

    I’m not thrilled with Spaight getting sent to IR, Riley and Rogers being scratched and having to defend with just three inside linebackers and four corners. The running/short passing game will need to continue to eat up humongous chunks of clock because I’m not sure this defense can defend 25 minutes or more or 60+ plays. I expect the Giants to try to speed up the tempo and hit quick passes to avoid the pressure.

    Thursday night will either be the beginning of a new era or the point in the season where it unravels due to defensive injuries.

    Time for the next men to man up. Someone else will have to pick up some of Compton’s special teams snaps and it won’t be Plummer as he already was carrying Spaight’s.

    Jeron Johnson is McCloughan’s Adam Archaletta. Brought here to compete at safety and he is/was the fourth/fifth safety behind Goldson, Ihenacho, Robinson, and Jarrett. At least he’s in on all the special teams because he has ZERO defensive snaps.

    • ET - Sep 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      I’m concerned about the LB and CB depth as well. Plummer is a promising young guy but as green as they get. Thankfully Jarrett has taken some snaps at corner, but the D is still undermanned there. One injury in either spot and things get shaky.

  9. Quinn - Sep 23, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    Morris had a 45 yard TD run in Dallas in 2013 I believe.

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 23, 2015 at 3:32 PM

      I do see that. The info came from Redskins PR, will have to check and see.

  10. mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    His size like beast mode but he got speed and moves close to jamal Charles its kinda unique whenever he turn that conner he always have a chance to take it in for the touchdown thats the kinda speed he have and on top of that hes hard to tackle

  11. mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    The deep ryan grant pass that play was actually for rashad ross but he was sitting on the bench and the coaches couldn’t find him so they sent in ryan grant after the play was over the camera caught jay gruden yelling at rashad ross for not standing by the wide receiver coach because that was suppose to have been a touchdown play for rashad ross

    • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      Didn’t see that. Ross was in on just two offensive snaps. Grant got by because he really sells the double move. Cousins was six yards short of the target according to #47.

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      They cut it short…they didnt show the whole thing when they seen jay gruden getting on rashad ross they switch over and put on another player and you can tell jay gruden was yelling at him because he had his hands up like in a I dont know what to do stance couldn’t see his face cause he he had his helmet on

      • bangkokben - Sep 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM

        Rewatched the game. Saw it on the second half pass.

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 23, 2015 at 12:26 PM

      He was only in on two plays for blocking but the deep catch was suppose to go to rashad ross but he wasnt in the game when he was suppose to

      • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM

        Grant got by twice. One was a catch. I’ll go look for the coach interaction. Can’t be missing when your number gets called or it won’t get called again for a while. I was shocked to see Grant there. I was expecting Ross. Don’t know if the Giants are thinking Ross = deep pass or not. I got to think their scouts would be well informed.

  12. shermanp79 - Sep 23, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    That speed is exactly why he ends up on the field more and more until he is the starter. I have said all along this offense needed a guy like him. I love Morris but you need that catching ability and speed. Too many stalled drives. Last week was beginning, they could of brought Morris in for that 2nd TD but didn’t. That power was used in the 4th quarter. That formula will continue, it may lead Jones to end up with more yards and TDs than Morris.

    Let’s see what happens Thursday night. I have a feeling Cousins throws a bit more. I would open throwing then go to run. The Giants secondary isn’t very good.

    • ET - Sep 23, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      No doubt that Matt Jones is exciting, but Morris is still a helluva player. He’s never been injured (knock on wood); he and Marshawn Lynch have the most yards carried since 2012; and Morris leads the league in most 10+ yard runs since 2012, with Lynch close behind. Impressive. Archives

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