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Need to Know: Is Redskins RB Matt Jones’ fumbling problem already solved?

Jun 13, 2016, 4:52 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 13, 45 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 155 days ago. It will be 91 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 45; Preseason opener @ Falcons 59; Final roster cut 82

Hot topics

—Is Matt Jones’ fumbling issue overblown? Jones lost four fumbles in his first 104 touches of the season. He didn’t lose any in his final 65 touches. It is best to proceed as though the problem has not been solved but the good finish to the season is perhaps a sign for optimism.

—Tress Way’s numbers were off a bit last year. He went from averaging 47.5 yards per punt in 2014 to 46.1 last year. His net average dropped from 40.0 to 39.8. It’s not particularly alarming and perhaps it’s due to him placing his punts better to prevent big returns. Opponent punt return yards did drop from 397 in 2014 to 258 last year.

—I’m not sure what to think of Logan Paulsen’s prospects this year. Before he got injured last year I was hearing that he was on his way out. I wasn’t the only one surprised when he was re-signed. For right now he could end up making the roster as the fourth tight end, although that may depend on whether or not Derek Carrier has recovered from his knee injury.

—Trent Murphy is listed at 290 now and that appears to be pretty close to reality. I don’t see how he is going to be able to put on enough additional weight to get into the 310-320 range that is the ideal for a 3-4 defensive end. I would look for him to play almost exclusively in nickel situations as a 4-3 end.

—The starter at right end in the base 3-4 defense has yet to be determined and it probably won’t be until well into training camp. I would not bet against Ricky Jean Francois claiming the job. He seemed to make a play every time he was in there last year.

In case you missed it 


  1. redskins12thman - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:02 AM

    Too early to tell on Jones; have to let the season play out.

    With the drop in return yards, Wav’s drop in average is a non-issue to me, but out of curiosity, how did he compare to other punters in the two statistical categories?

    Will the team carry three or four or more TEs?

    Much has been made about expected contributions from Paea, Reyes and Hood. I hope at least a couple of them stand out. Out of all position groups, I worry most about the d-line.

    • redskins12thman - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:07 AM

      Probably makes sense to compare average return yards per punt as the number of punts per season / punter could vary significantly.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jun 13, 2016 at 6:19 AM

    Jones won’t know until pads are on. Morris did have 5 fumbles his starting year. I am not worried.

    Paulson, what about Jensen. He is big and we need big for paulsons replacement.

    Many people bag on Murphy, but this player conversion is right up his ally. To not be responsible for dropping into coverage is huge for a guy like him. He is going to do great in the conversion and be a beast. 290? Wow! He is going to be a wrecking ball up front.

    RJF… Bring it!


  3. troylok - Jun 13, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Murphy is putting on the pounds a little too fast not to suspect HGH or steroids might be involved. That’s a lot of weight in a short period of time – something like 35 pounds since December?

    • robert ecker - Jun 13, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      Personally I put on 25 pounds of muscle in one semester in high school with just eating a lot and working out 5 days a week

    • bangkokben - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      Or perhaps he’s eating a ship load of calories. Trust me. It can be done both intentionally and unintentionally.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 13, 2016 at 3:47 PM

      Yeah I’m with Robert here. This isn’t supposed to be a self Brag but I’ve put on 25-30 lbs of muscle in less time. I was in the gym twice a day and eating a lot for 3-4 months. I have the body type where it’s easy to add muscle and hard to lose fat. And Trent Murphy probably has better genetics than me. Also has professional dietitians and workout facilities. Not to mention 30 pounds on his frame is less significant than most of us.

    • 56waysto - Jun 14, 2016 at 9:17 AM

      Averages out to about 5lbs a month. That’s not unrealistic to achieve naturally with the proper diet and workout routine.

  4. troylok - Jun 13, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    A blocker like Paulsen could really help out the running game. He’s probably the best blocker of the group of tight ends they have right now.

  5. colorofmyskinz - Jun 13, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Rich, Is it just me, or do Jones hands look small? I remembering thinking that in the first game I watched of him. I saw the high ball carry and what I thought were small hands. Does anyone have data on his hand size vs other running backs?


    • colorofmyskinz - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:41 AM

      Perhaps his hands look so small because his biceps are so large? Is it an optical illusion or does he have small hands comparatively to other backs? Does anyone know?


      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 13, 2016 at 1:03 PM

        They measure it all at the combine these days.

        8 5/8 inch hands. Probably normal for average 200 pound humans. By comparison, 1st round RB picks Todd Gurley has 10 inch hands, and Melvin Gordon, 9 3/4 inch.

        • colorofmyskinz - Jun 13, 2016 at 1:15 PM

          Thanks for the research!! Ah… So it appears they are a bit small. I thought it was just the way I was seeing it. But perhaps there is a bit of a geometry issue here…

  6. sidepull - Jun 13, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    What also worries me more about Jones is his durability. I didnt like seeing him sitting on the bench during the Packer playoff game. I wouldnt be too critical of Jones fumbles last season. He was rookie, theres a learning curve and he did seem to improve later in the season. Just out of curiosity, say he continues to fumble then what do the Redskins do? What durable back do they have?

    • bangkokben - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:20 AM

      McCloughan has a Rolodex (figuratively speaking, of course) of agents telephone numbers. Some the agents he would reach out to represent Pierre Thomas, Joique Bell, Arian Foster, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Kendall Hunter, Stephen Jackson, Reggie Bush, Tim Hightower, and cuts from training camp. Pierre Thomas would be here on the next plane.

      • John - Jun 14, 2016 at 3:33 PM

        Bell, the guy from Detroit who never did much. No.
        Fred Jackson. Best days behind him. No.
        Stephen Jackson, tank on empty. No.
        Hightower. Out of football 4 years. No.
        Kendall Hunter?
        Pierre Thomas. OK
        Reggie Bush. Have contract and pen ready to sign!

        • bangkokben - Jun 14, 2016 at 4:20 PM

          Hightower played for the Saints last year.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 14, 2016 at 4:34 PM

          Played pretty well too. In limited time.

          There’s also more guys out there. We may not have a top run game this year but we can find bodies to churn out yards while the passing attack does most of the work.

        • bangkokben - Jun 15, 2016 at 7:30 AM


  7. abanig - Jun 13, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    My gosh! Some of the best 3-4 DEs in the league weigh in the 290s. He doesn’t have to weight 310 to be effective, especially in the scheme we run. Hatcher weighed under 300.

    Why is everyone so worried about Murphy’s weight. It’s a topic that grown old over the past 3 years.

    • ET - Jun 13, 2016 at 12:49 PM

      I don’t get it either.

      Murph’s a strong guy and he should benefit when his coverage responsibilities are removed. I have a hard time believing he’ll be manhandled at sub-300 lbs.

  8. msbinder - Jun 13, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Jan Watt, the 3-4 DE in the league is list 289. He is big enough. I think this is a better fit for Murphy. I hope it works out.

  9. tim adams - Jun 13, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Slighty Productive 3-4 DEs:
    Cameron Hayward 288
    JJ Watt 289
    Malik Jackson 293
    Fletcher Cox 300
    Leonard Williams 302
    Jurell Casey 305

  10. John - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Murphy was never much of a factor rushing before. Much if the time, he was rushing with a hand in the dirt without much success the last 2 seasons. Regardless of the weight gained I don’t see much changing there. I realize he won’t have to worry about dropping into coverage. So what makes all the homers think that all of a sudden he’s going to be a holy terror?

    • ET - Jun 13, 2016 at 12:55 PM

      Who said anything about a Holy Terror?

      Murph doesn’t need to be anything close to a Holy Terror. I don’t think anyone here believes Trent is a transformational player, but he has been and should continue to be a solid player. If he can continue run stopping, get some penetration and handle his line assignments he’ll do just fine.

      • John - Jun 13, 2016 at 1:58 PM

        I reference the earlier comments by color. Sorry but based on past performance, what would lead one to believe that by switching position and adding weight would make him a beast or wrecking ball up front?

        • ET - Jun 13, 2016 at 3:17 PM

          We’re in agreement that projecting Murphy as a “beast” upfront is premature at best. But most of the comments I’ve seen on Murphy are fairly subdued, along the lines of “The position change makes sense and I hope it works out for him.” That line of thought I agree with.

  11. lorcanbonda - Jun 13, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    It seems like there are a lot of plans for the 4-3 — it’s almost like we’re changing our defense. Except in a 4-3, Kerrigan, Smith and Gallette are already taking the outside. Then you still need three linebackers.

    Wher’s Murphy in that mix?

    • John - Jun 13, 2016 at 11:12 PM

      Still a 3-4. Being a hybrid, they show multiple fronts, some 3 down, some 4 down. They play 4 down a lot because teams go to 3 receivers so often. When they go into “nickel” the 4 down are 3 linemen and a linebacker with his hand in the dirt. The past 2 seasons, that linebacker was Trent Murphy. The middle of the defense has 2 linebacker and the back end has 5 DBs, 3 corners and 2 safety. That’s not exactly a 4-3.

  12. truethbetold - Jun 13, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    I’ve heard talk about Smith playing hand on the ground in the line (possibly with Baker and Murphy) in obvious pass rushing situations. It’s a fluid situation right now, they have a ton of options as to things they can try with the D-line before the regular season starts..

  13. John - Jun 14, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Bell, the guy from Detroit who never did much. No.
    Fred Jackson. Best days behind him. No.
    Stephen Jackson, tank on empty. No.
    Hightower. Out of football 4 years. No.
    Kendall Hunter?
    Pierre Thomas. OK
    Reggie Bush. Have contract and pen ready to sign! Archives

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