Redskins running back Chris Thompson knows how talented rookie running back Matt Jones is.
Oh, Thompson knows alright.
It was 2012 when Thompson, then a senior at Florida State, watched Jones run for 10 yards a carry and the game-sealing touchdown as Florida beat the Seminoles, 37-26, on Thompson’s home turf.
“He was the reason we lost to them,” Thompson said. “I still kind of hold that against him.”
And now that the two are back on the same field, Thompson said the 6-foot-2, 231-pound bruiser is faster than Thompson remembered.
Jones is smooth too, according to strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark, who chuckled a little bit when asked about the rookie after practice Tuesday.
“He’s been really impressive,” Clark said. “I would expect great things from him.”
Smooth and fast, maybe. But don’t worry, Jones still likes to hit people too. That was obvious when a reporter asked him if he was excited about the increase in contact that will come as the offseason slowly yields to the preseason.
“Yeah, I’ll be ready for that.”
In the meantime, Jones said he has been working to become a more complete back — improving the receiving and pass-protection skills that could earn him third-down snaps early on. But that’s not all Jones wants to be.
“I’m just grinding every day to be the starter,” he said. “I will put some pressure on Alfred [Morris].”
There is still distance between Morris and the other runners though, and it showed during Tuesday’s minicamp session, as Jones hesitated to explode through the line on at least one occasion.
Meanwhile, fellow running back Silas Redd Jr. flashed a couple times during the practice, including one crisp cut that earned praise from coaches, but then he tweaked his ankle. He could miss time Wednesday.
As for Thompson, he continues to work as a utility back, and is also getting reps as a kick returner, alongside rookie Jamison Crowder, incumbent Andre Roberts, and rookie running back Trey Williams.
“I’m trying,” Thompson said. “The more I can do, it helps me out.
“Whatever they want me to do, I have to be good at it.”
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