October 23, 2020

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Running Back Play in Preseason Opener Win

To the running backs who were getting their first taste of game speed contact behind the power running game of offensive line coach Bill Callahan and against the tough “Dawg Pound” run stoppers. Alfred Morris had an ok night running the football finishing with 8 carries for 42 yards. The 5.3 yard per carry average might look great but if you take out a 18 yard run to convert on 4th and 1, Morris could not pass the 3.5 yards per carry clip.

Matt Jones gave Redskins fans something to savor about. The former Gator bruiser finished with 5 caries for 38 yards including two impressive runs within a span of three plays. The first started with a counter play over the right side and after a spin move, the jets, and lowering the shoulder, Matt Jones had a 23 yard gain (see play below). Jones would come back with another 12 yard run which would be his last run of the game after he came out with a possible concussion. Jones was cleared to return back to the game if wanted, but Gruden made the wise choice to rest his third round pick instead of risking possible further injury.

Chris Thompson preformed decently with with 5 carries for 28 yards including a 14 yard burst. Thompson also solidified his spot on the roster with a 32 yard kickoff return, given the opportunity after Andre Roberts was stripped on a punt return. With Silas Redd going down with a gruesome injury, Trey Williams stepped in to rush for 15 yards on 7 carries and score a touchdown. The speedster has his worked cut out for him if he is going to try and push Thompson for the third string running back spot but had a nice play on pass protection that allowed Kirk Cousins to get off a completion to Reggie Bell near the end zone.

The hope is for both Morris and Jones to continue getting better acclimated with the system of Bill Callahan and to grow as the offensive line unit also continues to grow chemistry. Thompson will likely be the true change of pace back for the Redskins and could get extended snaps in screen play situations. Like the quarterbacks, the running backs have three more preseason games to show the coaches what they got heading into Week 1.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Host the Detroit Lions for the second preseason game in 6 days on 8/20 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 22 days by 9/4.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 31 days.
About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.


  1. […] Matt Jones is as advertised, a physical runner with underrated speed. The Florida product had runs of 23 and 12 yards that were highlighted by a spin move, speed to the outside, and impressive finishing of blocks. The rookie would come out of the game with a suspected concussion but quickly cleared the protocol. You can checkout how Jones’ night lines up with the rest of the Redskins backfield here. […]

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