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Need to Know: Gruden says Matt Jones has not lost his trust

Oct 8, 2015, 5:24 AM EDT

Matt Jones vs. NYG

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 8, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons.

Read and react

Here are some quotes from Jay Gruden’s and Kirk Cousins’ press conferences from Wednesday and my reaction to them.

Gruden on Matt Jones: “He’s never lost my trust [because of fumbles]. A couple of weeks ago it was Alfred [Morris] who was in my doghouse and he’s not. It’s just the way to works out with the handoffs and the carries. I like both of those guys.”
Reaction: We tend to overact to each week’s snap count and the number of carries each running back gets each week. Against the Giants the talk was that Morris is on hiw way out and then against  It goes under a microscope each week based on what really is a small sample size of 30 carries or so. When we look at the end of the year we will see who really is the “lead dog”.

Cousins on red zone opportunities: “Too many times we probably haven’t come away with touchdowns when we need to in the red zone. That will be a point of emphasis going forward—how can we get six instead of three?
Reaction: The Redskins are about average in the red zone. They have put it in the end zone on 60 percent of the time they get inside the 20. That’s 12th in the NFL, not great, not bad, especially considering that they don’t really have a classic, big end zone receiver to throw to. They will try to improve, and they should. But expecting to get much higher than 60 percent in the red zone could be unrealistic.

Gruden on the two unnecessary roughness calls against Trenton Robinson: “We always send in plays [to the league] throughout the week and we get answers back . . . We got that information and we talked to Trenton . . . He was not at fault in those instances.”
Reaction: I don’t see any reason why every unnecessary roughness call should not be reviewed, especially the bang-bang helmet to helmet variety. It’s just happens too fast on the field for the officials to make the proper call. And if time is an issue, just have someone in the league office take a look. It’s 2015; if there is a way to do a better job on this, they should do it.

Cousins on why the Redskins are having more success on third down: I think it’s a combination of things, I don’t think there is one area that stands out. I do believe another year in the system, familiarity with concepts. I’ve always believed that you get what you emphasize and I think our coaches went back and said, ‘we need to be better on third down, let’s emphasize that.’
Reaction: The Redskins have made a remarkable turnaround in their third down conversion rate, improving from a 32 percent success rate in 2014 to 46 percent this year. What is surprising is that they have not been in easier distance situations this year. In 2014 they had an average of 7.48 yards to go on third down. This year the average is 7.54 yards. So they are putting themselves in roughly the same situations and having a much better success rate.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:40; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 3; Redskins @ Jets 10; Bucs @ Redskins 17

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Oct 8, 2015 at 6:24 AM

    Matt Jones is a beast!! He will be great this year and for years to come. Thank God morris stepped up at the end of the game last game. because for three corders he was nonexistent. MORRIS just does not run with that pinache. He found it during the last drive only. I really want to see him step up for all for quarters.

    The team needs to learn how to come out of the lockeroom at halftime and light a spark. Our third quarters have been horrible.

    What was our red zone percentage last year? I bet much worse being we are average this year.

    Third-down conversion average going up, is a major improvement! The only reason for that is our frontline and Kirk cousins. Even with RG3rd string behind his new front line we would still have a horrible third-down conversions. I would give Kurt cousins a majority of the credit for third-down conversion rate.

    HTTR! We need this win in Atlanta!

    • sidepull - Oct 8, 2015 at 6:45 AM

      We will see how the 3rd down conversion rate goes without Jordan Reed in the lineup. That guy creates a huge mismatch problem and Cousins knows it. Hes going to need to look somewhere else for that production. They will need to run the ball al lot. That should help.

      Trenton Robinson got two ” He must have hurt him penalties” The refs thought he hit him “too” hard. What BS calls.

    • sidepull - Oct 8, 2015 at 6:55 AM

      We will see how the 3rd down conversion rate goes without Jordan Reed in the lineup. That guy creates a huge mismatch problem and Cousins knows it. Hes going to need to look somewhere else for that production. They will need to run the ball al lot. That should help.

      Trenton Robinson got two ” He must have hit him too hard penalties” What BS calls.

    • sidepull - Oct 8, 2015 at 7:09 AM

      We will see how the 3rd down conversion rate goes without Jordan Reed in the lineup. That guy creates a huge mismatch problem and Cousins knows it. Hes going to need to look somewhere else for that production. They will need to run the ball al lot. That should help.

      Trenton Robinson got two ” He must have hit him too hard penalties” What a couple bad calls.

    • hk2000 - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:17 AM

      Many of you here are just about putting down Griffin, right? It’s like an itch you have to scratch, ‘RG3RD string’ right? WOW. you didn’t even get your supposedly favorite-QB name right!!!!

      As for Gruden, why should we believe anything he says? I know many are giving him a pass this week because of the win, but that won’t last, trust me.

      • skinsgame - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:58 AM

        You mean like how you just did about Gruden? lol

        • hk2000 - Oct 8, 2015 at 2:59 PM

          Gruden’s trust is the subject of the article, “RG3RD String” is a called for attack because?

  2. mr.moneylover - Oct 8, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    I already knew matt jones wasnt in jay gruden doghouse matt jones was in pain and limp off the field and jay gruden decide not to play him because he injured his knee not because the fumble against the giants…I think its just ppl over reacting to the situation….matt jones is a rookie andre roberts is a vet and got benched its ok to over react to Andre Roberts bein bench because hes a vet and been playing bad matt jones still learning and gonna get better and better year by year cant say the same for Andre Roberts

  3. sidepull - Oct 8, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    color we will see how the 3rd down conversion rate goes without Jordan Reed in the lineup. That guy creates a huge mismatch problem and Cousins knows it. Hes going to need to look somewhere else for that production. They will need to run the ball al lot. That should help.

    Trenton Robinson got two ” He must have hit him too hard penalties” What BS calls.

  4. 214hof - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    This upcoming game against ATL will be a huge test not only on D but on O as well. Both offenses are top of the league in time of possession (Skins #1, ATL #2). So keeping ATL off the field might not be as far fetched as some might think, but getting them off the field once they do hit the turf may be another story.If Washington can find a way to stay on the field with long drives and then keep M. Ryan uncomfortable, the Skins have the chance for a big upset. The plus side being that the Skins are most definitely the underdog, and IMO that’s when they play their best ball… Down side being that Washington has been terrible on the road and ATL has been almost automatic at home. Hard to gauge this game, its either a blow out win for the Falcons or Washington keeps it respectable and it comes down to the last possession once again…

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    The Cousins to Reed connection has worked well on 3rd down. I guess others will have to step up this weekend.
    ~

    • skinsgame - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      Good thing we have Niles Paul in the wings for such an occasion. I mean Logan Paulsen. I mean Derrick Carrier.

      • ET - Oct 8, 2015 at 11:26 AM

        (Insert nervous chuckle.)

  6. skinsgame - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    No mention of Matt Jones being injured by the team or by Gruden. Jones put the ball on the ground twice in his first three games and the one against NY was a kick to the gut. It stands to reason his carries would diminish, at least momentarily. The Eagles did a good job against the run, in spite of the total yards. Jones, in particular, was not effective. 7 carries for 11 yards with 7 of those on one play. The run game needs to be far better this week and Jones can’t continue to fumble if they’re going to have a chance.

  7. troylok - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    With both the running back situation and the higher third down completion rate, I think the answer is the same: Gruden has a much better set of tools this year. He has running backs that are standard, beast and quick and he uses them depending on the situation. On third and long, he can now bring in a quick slippery guy like Crowder, a great route runner in Grant and the old workhorse Garcon. Then there is also Mr. Injury that can be a force in the passing game. The point is, Gruden has a lot of tools and a more varied set of tools to work with this season.

    • ET - Oct 8, 2015 at 11:38 AM

      All true.

      Add in an improved offensive line (+ a few tenths of a second on passing downs), better pass pro by the running backs (+ a few tenths of a second when they pick up a blitzer correctly), and a QB with a quick release. All those fractions of a second add up to better opportunities. (The improvement in offensive weapons doesn’t hurt, either, obviously.)

  8. Dcwun - Oct 8, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    Matt Jones should get about 10 carries a game and Morris 20 plus. Jones still has a ways to go with his vision. The running lanes in the Rams game were Timmy Smith SB type lanes that the o-line did an amazing job with sealing the edge……

    • jonevans511 - Oct 8, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      I don’t know that vision is his issue, at all. He’s shown the ability to bounce outside, cut inside, all without actually stopping his momentum.

      In my non-professional opinion, as good as our OL has played overall it’s very difficult to run the ball in certain situations with this offense. It’s one thing to say the front 7s we’ve faced thus far have been solid, which they have been for the most part, but there are times when everyone on the opposing defense knows a run is coming. This is the case for every team naturally, as there are formations and situations where running the ball is obvious, but it seems to me at times that Jay and offensive play-callers telegraph what they’re about to do. I am NOT an expert so this is purely coming from watching every play of every game thus far, but in many situations regardless how well our OL blocked there were defenders reading the play perfectly and even if the RB carrying the ball got through the first wave, there was nowhere to run at the next level.

      Is this all on the play-calling? Absolutely not, this is what defenses must do against solid run teams if they don’t want them running down their throats. Furthermore, I played football growing up but am not even close to an expert in terms of formations and assignments at the NFL level.

      I will say, however, that a little read option (closer to the Bradford variety than the Russell Wilson variety, if you know what I mean) may be in the cards going forward. IMO Cousins would do a great job doing what Bradford did against us last week. Put the ball in the RB’s gut, assess the defense, and make a quick decision to hand off or hold on for the pass. From memory, and I could be wrong, we haven’t done a whole lot of this so far but I think all of our backs could excel at this.

      Maybe this is over-simplified, all I’m saying is if we mix in a little bit more “guessing game” type run plays we may keep defenses more honest. Then again getting DJax back and/or going to Rashad Ross deep a bit more may help alleviate much of this regardless.

  9. Johnny B. - Oct 8, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    We have a good chance to win in Atlanta. Atlanta beat the Eagles barely and they are a bad team right now. The Giants beat themselves. Dallas no Romo or Bryant and a injured defense and still barely won. Look at Houston this year they look us last year lol. My point is we are a better team but with our injured secondary and no Reed it might be a hard win. Hopefully Cousins will have a good game and the defense brings the pain.

    • colorofmyskinz - Oct 8, 2015 at 5:53 PM

      Fully agree here!!! We can win this game. If our front 7 on D brings the heat, our offense will get it done. I want to see more jones. He us s beast and brings problems to most defenses. We need his agresdive running style. I wish we could get both MORRIS and jones going in the same game like with the Rams.

      • Johnny B. - Oct 8, 2015 at 8:12 PM

        Don’t worry MOJO will be lighting it up in Atlanta. We need it to happen to own time of possession. 40 min to 20min again sounds good to me. I was listening to Chris Cooley on espn 980 and it was stated the best way to shut down Jones is to not let him on the Feild. Well MOJO a good pass rush and Breeland will work. Last year he shut down Bryant in the win against Dallas I think he would be good for Jones.

  10. hk2000 - Oct 8, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    Rich,
    Comments are still going to the spam folder? I think mine just did.

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