Quick Links

Rookie preview: Safety Jordan Bernstine

758294.png

Rookie preview: Safety Jordan Bernstine

Jordan Bernstine

Safety
Iowa
5-10, 211The need: The Redskins secondary is undergoing a major overhaul, especially at safety. Underwhelming free agents Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson and Madieu Williams joined the two holdovers, Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes. If that last sentence doesnt scare you, nothing will. Should the veterans max out especially Meriweather and Jackson - this unit could surprise. Regardless, hard to imagine anyone here being a mortal lock for the Week 1 roster.The fit: Bernstine offers versatility played both safety positions and corner at Iowa and a big hitting presence.Size is legitimate and is combined with 4.4 speed. Primarily a strong safety last season, he started 11 games for the Hawkeyes and recorded a career-high 15 tackles against Michigan.The depth chart: To make the final roster, Bernstine likely needs to pass either Meriweather or Doughty. If he shows ability to play both safety spots or strong plus corner at the pro level, could stick as final defensive back. Again, with no spots safe at safety, opportunity exists. Another potential tiebreaker could be Bernstines play on special teams. Averaged 24.4 yards on 30 kickoff returns and his physical attributes plus penchant for hitting make for an ideal chaser of kicks.Bernstines upside: Even if he makes the final roster, hard to imagine Bernstine receiving many snaps on defense next season. However, should he exceed playing time expectations, could become a fan favorite if he lights up an opposing receiver or three. Realistically Bernstine has the look of a 2012 practice squad player.Pro Football Weekly on Bernstine: Has the size and mentality of a safety combined with the speed and explosion of a cornerback, as evidenced by his 41-inch vertical leap and broad jump of 10 feet 7 inchesSeeks the big hit, but tackles inconsistently and is not as instinctive as he is athletic. Durability has been an issue, though he could be attractive as a reserve DBspecial-teamer.Bernstine on Bernstine: (on what he does well): As far as my game, the biggest part of it is that Im athletic and I like to put my face in there, which is why I felt I was a good fit at Iowa at strong safety. I mean, I like to hit. I like to come down and be a factor in the run game, but I can also go out and cover tight ends or slot receivers.Previously:G Adam GettisT Tom Compton

Quick Links

Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still will be nervous on cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program. But he says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club. “For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

Quick Links

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back