In hopes of complementing Alfred Morris with their first true big running back since Stephen Davis left after the 2002 season, the Redskins drafted Florida's 6-2, 226-pound Matt Jones in the third round this month.
"Alfred's a darn good halfback," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Saturday on the second day of Washington's three-day rookie minicamp. "In order to take carries off of him, you gotta show a lot. "So far, Matt's taken the right steps to take a little bit of the load off of Alfred (who had 85 percent of the carries by Washington's running backs the past three seasons). If you want to commit to running the football, you gotta have a couple guys that can tote it."
By hiring offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who helped make Dallas the NFL's top rushing offense in 2014, and using three of their first five draft choices on Jones, tackle Brandon Scherff, and guard Arie Kouandjio, new Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has shown how committed the Redskins are to a power running game. McCloughan called Jones "a physical player and as tough as crud." And yet, Gruden raved about the rest of the rookie's game.
"You think of him as a big, power-type back, but Matt's done some things out in space that have been very, very impressive, making moves on the second level, in the passing game, running some option routes on linebackers," Gruden said. "He's got natural hands."
Jones only had 19 catches in three years at Florida, but it sounds as if he may compete for third down duties now that Roy Helu is no longer locking down that role. Morris has caught 68.5 percent of his targets, which is a higher rate than what Shane Vereen and Jamaal Charles posted last season, but he has yet to make much of an impression in the passing game.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (hamstring, ankle, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 17. Charles figures to play since his team is still alive in the playoff hunt.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 16. Charles will be fine for a good matchup against Pittsburgh.
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Charles should be fine for a good matchup against Pittsburgh.
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 15. Charles is dealing with soreness in his ankle and knee, but HC Andy Reid said on Friday that he should see his usual workload against the Raiders.
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:32pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Charles is dealing with soreness in his ankle and knee, but HC Andy Reid doesn’t seem overly concerned about his availability for Week 15. If possible, his owners should pick up Knile Davis as insurance.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6:25pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Charles is dealing with soreness in his ankle and knee, but HC Andy Reid doesn’t seem overly concerned about his availability for Week 15. If possible, his owners should pick up Knile Davis as insurance.
Jamaal Charles thought the same thing many Kansas City Chiefs fans no doubt did when he had his left leg wrenched during a pile of humanity in the first quarter of Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
“It was scary at first,’’ Charles said. “I thought I tore my knee up.
“I just got twisted up. Everything got twisted up.’’
Those were sobering words coming from Charles, who knows what a ruined knee feels like. He tore his ACL during the 2011 season.
Monday, HC Andy Reid said Charles was dealing with swelling in the knee and ankle, but didn't seemed concerned about Charles' Week 15 status. According to the ESPN story, Charles had a mere sprained ankle and he was able to return and finish the game. Charles didn’t get a heavy amount of use, with 10 carries and a pair of pass receptions. But he rushed for 91 yards and scored both of the Chiefs’ touchdowns, one on a 63-yard run and the other on an 18-yard catch from quarterback Alex Smith. He appears good to go, but keep an eye on Charles this week. The Chiefs have a nice, home, Week 15 matchup against the Raiders in what will also be a revenge game. If you own Charles and/or just have an extra roster spot, Knile Davis should be owned.
Friday, December 5, 2014, 6:38pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 14. OC Doug Pederson said that the team intends to lean on Charles even more down the stretch.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told reporters this week that the team's All-Pro running back will be featured heavily over the next four games as Kansas City looks to capture its second straight playoff berth.
"We as a staff, and me as a coordinator, I have to allow him to touch the football as often as we can," Pederson said, per The Kansas City Star. "You look at the stat sheet and look at the targets and the number of touches that guys get, and then you go back and say, 'Oh, I wish I would have done this or I wish I would have done that, or more of this or less of that,' after the game, win or lose."
Charles is averaging 17.4 touches per game, which is a far cry from the 26.6 touches that DeMarco Murray has seen through 14 weeks. Charles is a smaller back, and may not be able to hold up to that kind of workload, but his owners would like to see the Chiefs feed him the ball without being too predictable about it. That said, it's not wise to tell the media about your intentions to feed him the ball. Charles has a tough matchup with the Cardinals in Week 14, but he's an elite talent who can produce against anyone given the opportunity.
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 5:59pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee) practiced fully Wednesday. Charles is fully expected to play in a tough matchup with Arizona.
This may be a sign from the fantasy gods that it's time to secure Knile Davis if you're a Charles owner and you haven't already. It's a tough matchup Week 14 for Charles against the Cardinals, but the ageless Steven Jackson seemed to do just fine in Week 13. Charles has favorable matchups Weeks 15 (Oakland) and Week 16 (Pittsburgh). If Charles wouldn't go, we know that Davis would get a bulk of the work and would be a very good fantasy option.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (shoulder, elbow, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 11. The full practices indicate that Charles is good to go for a so-so matchup against the Seahawks.
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (shoulder, elbow) practiced fully Wednesday. The full participation indicate that Charles is good to go for a so-so matchup against the Seahawks.
Sounds like he was kept out as a precaution, but there was no specific mention of an injury. Charles also left earlier in the game with a knee issue, the broadcast said, but did return. It's something to monitor but it looks like Charles will be OK for a Week 11 home game against Seattle.
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