“The big thing about (Matt Jones) is, we’ve got to keep him healthy and work on ball security – those are the two things in the offseason,” Redskins RB Jay Gruden said. “I know [running backs coach] Randy Jordan will harp on that, and getting his pad level down a little bit. But health, ball security, those are the two biggest things.”
General manager Scot McCloughan, who drafted Jones in the third round last year, echoed Gruden.
“I think so,” he said of Jones' ability to take over as the featured back. “But he’s got to do it. He’s got to hold onto the ball. That’s huge for a running back. He’s a young guy that’s got a lot of talent. He’s got some really good ball skills but he’s got to stay healthy and hold onto the ball. But I feel really comfortable about him going into the season fighting for the one job for sure.”
Jones started his rookie season with a bang, posting 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams in Week 2, but ultimately generated just 3.40 yards per carry on 144 totes. He made a number of big plays in the passing game (16.0 yards per catch), finishing with 794 yards and four touchdowns. With Alfred Morris likely leaving via free agency, Jones has an opportunity to seize the RB1 job.