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Matt Jones Showcases Toughness Against Browns


In his first game action with the Redskins, rookie running back Matt Jones tallied 49 total yards, flashing his strength and physicality in the process.

Matt Jones' first carry of the preseason did not go as planned, but once the rookie running back got into a groove he showed flashes of the player that make the coaching staff eager to implement him into the offense more during the regular season.

Jones, a third-round pick out of Florida, registered a one-yard loss on his first touch of the game.

The next play, though, he made up for it with an 11-yard reception from quarterback Kirk Cousins.

"I mean, it felt good," Jones said of getting his first NFL action. "After I made a play, I just got confident after that. Just the feel of the game. Once I got the feel of the game, it was like, 'Now it's back to football.'"

In total, Jones tallied 38 rushing yards on five carries along with those 11 receiving yards on his only target.

While the 6-foot-2, 231 pounder is better known for his short-yardage ability and power, he showed burst on his longest carry of the game, a 23-yard rush in the second quarter.

"I feel like I'm getting better," Jones said. "They definitely had me prepared going against someone different."

Jones said one of the biggest assets he had in easing his nerves through his first few plays was Cousins, who has manned the huddle in 14 regular season games for the Redskins over three seasons.

"He's a character quarterback," Jones said. "When he's in the huddle, he says things that make me want to go the next play like, 'Come on guys, we got to get a first down. Come on Matt, they want to see you run the ball.' Stuff like that. He's a great leader."

Head coach Jay Gruden liked what he saw out of Jones, who is expected to be the Redskins' second back being longtime starter Alfred Morris, but he, along with some of his teammates, still have a few things to work on.

"I like Matt. Matt ran hard, and you can see his physicality," Gruden said. "Sometimes those guys are playing special teams and they have to run back to play on offense. They get gassed and we need to work on a couple of guys' stamina."




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