Redskins OC: Matt Jones can be 'every-down' back


If it wasn't clear before the NFL draft that Matt Jones would be the Washington Redskins' workhorse back, it is now.

Washington didn't select a running back early in the draft, waiting to snag speedster Keith Marshall in the seventh round.

Jones had his struggles as a rookie. His fumbling problem is well-chronicled. Jones also often hesitated hitting the hole and was dropped for a loss frequently. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay believes a full offseason will help Jones correct those errors, calling him an "every-down" back.


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"We know that he had some growing pains, but I think, when you look at the things that he was able to do both in the run game, and in the pass game, he's got the skills and the traits that you're looking for in that every down [running] back, where he can put his foot in the ground," McVay said, via the team's official website. "He's a violent finisher. I think he's a little bit more sudden than people give him credit for."

Jones boasts the athletic traits teams love. His size and speed combo could vault him into the top 10 of running backs in Year 2, if he can correct the mistakes.

The Redskins have spent the offseason hyping Jones, the draft just added to their faith in the 23-year-old.

Washington doesn't currently have an early-down back to share the load with Jones. Chris Thompson sits No. 2 on the depth chart as a passing-down back, but there has been some scuttle coming out of DC that the jitterbug's roster spot could be in jeopardy with the team drafting Marshall.

The Redskins could also look to bring back veteran Pierre Thomas. Thomas looked spry enough for a 31-year-old veteran in four games in Washington last season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and 84 yards receiving on nine grabs.

Whatever the backfield moves this summer, everything starts with Jones.