‘Fat Rob’ Kelley says Jay Gruden told him to drop weight so Redskins can run the football more

Washington Redskins running back Robert Kelley

Robert Kelley has blossomed into a fan favorite after hitting on with the Washington Redskins. As an undrafted rookie, Kelley impressed the Redskins coaching staff and after Matt Jones struggled with fumbling, the kid nicknamed "Fat Rob" became the starting running back.

Kelley averaged 16.8 carries per game as a starter. And while the Redskins had one of the more potent passing games in the NFL, the run game ranked 21st in the NFL. That is despite averaging 4.5 yards per carry, tied for seventh-most in the league. With head coach Jay Gruden taking over the play-calling after last year offensive coordinator Sean McVay departing to the Los Angeles Rams to become the youngest head coach in NFL history, it appears the focus on running the football is back in Washington.

While appearing on Inside the Locker Room on ESPN980, Kelley revealed Gruden asked the husky back to shed some pounds in preparation for the upcoming season.

"As soon as [Gruden] found out he was going to be calling plays, he was like, we’re going to be running the ball more, you gotta drop some weight," Kelly said as transcribed by Scott Allen of the Washington Post. "That was the first thing he told me, so, I believe him.”

Kelley got the nickname "Fat Rob" while at Tulane as his old running backs coach was referencing the size of his heart. The ground and pound one-cut runner at one point played fullback for the Green Wave. The name and the reputation caught on. However, now being a primary back in the NFL, shedding down a couple of pounds and the mentality that comes with the nickname in order to embrace the evolving running back position will place Kelley in a better position long-term with the team.