ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins changed their focus in the run game. What they say they're not ready to do is change their running backs, despite adding one in the third round Friday.
When you have a running back who has rushed for 3,962 yards in his first three seasons, there's not a huge need to make changes. But when you draft a back in the third round, it leads to questions. Especially when the incumbent, Alfred Morris, is entering the final year of his contract.
The Redskins drafted Florida running back Matt Jones in the third round. He's a big, physical runner at 6-foot-2, 226 pounds. Coach Jay Gruden said, "He's a little bit different than what we've had around here." That's because he's more physical, a style well-suited for the direction the running game is headed.
But the Redskins have also said Morris fits in well with it, too. After all, they're not abandoning the outside zone -- and it's not as if Morris is a finesse back.
"Alfred won't be affected," Gruden said. "Alfred's still the running back here. He's had three great seasons and that won't change. But to add another guy that can come in here and pound the rock a little bit doesn't hurt anything. It'll help Alfred in that regard, taking some carries off him. For the most part Alfred will be getting the bulk of the carries and Matt will get some too, obviously."
Jones will provide insurance, but the Redskins say he might be able to develop into a third-down back. He caught 19 passes in three seasons at Florida, with 11 coming last season.
"I love catching the ball," Jones said. "I feel I'm an every-down back. I'm just a complete back all the way around."
"He's a good all-around player," Gruden said.
Jones did interact with Morris when he visited before the draft. Jones said they talked for a while.
"He gave me some pointers," Jones said. "We had a great conversation and he's a great guy."