- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2016

TAMPA — As Mack Brown rumbled across midfield and eyed the three defenders in front of him, one thought came to mind.

“Finish,” Brown said.

“Run faster,” left tackle Takoby Cofield chimed in as he walked past Brown postgame to the team bus.

Brown certainly did, sprinting well past his three pursuers and finished his 60-yard touchdown run in the Washington Redskins‘ 20-13 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason finale on Wednesday.

The second-year running back from Florida, who was on the Redskins practice squad last season and is vying for a spot on the 53-man roster, carried the ball 19 times for 149 yards.

Undrafted rookie Robert Kelley has all but secured his spot as the third running back behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. It would be unconventional to keep four running backs, but Brown certainly made the team’s decision-making more difficult with his performance on Wednesday.

“Yeah, that’s something we’ve got to talk about,” coach Jay Gruden said. “I was happy to see Mack. He did show up. Made the decision even tougher. Hopefully we can keep all of them, but we’ll put together the scouting staff, coaching staff and figure it out.”

Kelley has endeared himself to the coaching staff with his decisive running and strong pass protection skills. He continued to impress against the Buccaneers when he rushed for 99 yards on 16 carries. Kelley finished the preseason with 227 yards on 39 carries.

When reminded he was one yard shy of 100, he quipped, “Maybe Mack will give me one of his.”

Though Kelley is ticketed for the 53-man roster, he said he’ll still sweat it out on Saturday, when the team has until 4 p.m. to finalize the roster.

“You can never be sure,” Kelley said. “At the end of the day, you never know what’s going on upstairs. But I think I did well. I’m not going to run with it until it happens.”

Here are two other takeaways from the Redskins‘ final win:

** When the Redskins cut veteran linebacker Perry Riley Jr. to get to the 75-man roster, it was an indictment on the depth at the inside linebacker positions. One of those players that stands out is Terence Garvin. The former Pittsburgh Steelers special teams ace has caught the coaching staff’s attention with his hard-nosed physical play, both on defense and special teams.

Garvin was pumped to get more defensive snaps on Wednesday with the bulk of the starters resting and is eager to prove he can contribute in both phases of the game. He finished with five tackles.

“I mean it felt good, one of the things around me, I feel like I’m a linebacker that plays special teams, not so much a special teams player that plays linebacker,” Garvin said. “It felt good to be out there flying around and make some plays.”

** Cullen Jenkins had two quick days to get up to speed in the Redskins system until he made his debut on Wednesday. The 35-year-old veteran defensive end was signed on Monday after working out with the team and it appears likely he’ll make the 53-man roster along with Chris Baker, Ziggy Hood, Kendall Reyes, Kedric Golston and Ricky Jean Francois. If the Redskins choose to keep seven, Corey Crawford and rookies Anthony Lanier and Matt Ioannidis are choices for that spot.

Jenkins felt he played well on Wednesday despite the quick turnaround.

“I had one mistake out there, I’m kicking myself for making, but other than that coaches did a great job going over the gameplan for me,” Jenkins said. “We had a pressure I was supposed to be lined up but moved over to the wrong gap.

“We haven’t talked about my role, but the biggest thing for me coming in, they wanted to see what type of shape I was in, still have quickness and ability to play. My role is versatile. That’s what got me through my career and I want to bring it here.”

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