Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is confident that the team’s run game can complement a lethal passing attack this season.
That remains unchanged, even after Matt Jones managed to gain just one yard on two carries during Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
And not until the third quarter did the yards on the ground start to come in bunches, as the Redskins had just 12 rushing yards on their first nine carries before finishing the evening with 79 yards on 24 carries.
“We are going to stick with it,” Gruden said. “We are going to fix it. We have to get our line coming off better. We have to get it to the right people. Atlanta played very good defense. They loaded up the box and did a nice job stopping us. That is no excuse we have to run the ball better.”
The Skins run game only got better later in the game. After Jones played in just the first series of the game, Chris Thompson and 2016 seventh-round pick Keith Marshall worked with Colt McCoy and the second-team offense, although neither running back was able to do much when the ball was placed in their hands. Against Atlanta’s third-team defense, though, rookie Robert Kelley and 2015 practice squad member Mack Brown sliced up the Falcons. Running the ball was a problem last year, and some who follow the team think it will continue this year. Those same beat writers think the team will have to throw the ball with Kirk Cousins and a talented WR corps.