Antonio Gibson primed for strong second season, team plans to use him like Christian McCaffrey

Pro Sports

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson takes a handoff from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during a preseason practice on August 17, 2021.

ASHBURN, Va. (WDVM) – As a rookie, Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson rushed for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns, eclipsing 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and averaging 4.7 yards per rush in 14 games played.

The team is hoping that Gibson will duplicate and improve on that success in year two.

“I can see him continue to grow. A big part of it is doing it consistently,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said. “If we run it five times to have him do it five times consistently, not three really good, one okay and the one you gotta be better at. That’s where I want to see him get to.”

The 23-year-old running back wasn’t always a running back – Gibson played wide receiver in college at Memphis and in junior college, Gibson’s transition to his current position was a fairly smooth one as a rookie.

“He’s been a wide receiver most of his football career as a young man growing up and in college,” Rivera said. “Then now he’s got the opportunity to play running back and he’s just got to continue to grow into it.”

With the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera utilized Christian McCaffrey as a talented running back that could make a huge impact in the passing game. Washington quarterback Kyle Allen, who played under Rivera and with McCaffrey in Carolina, told WDVM Tuesday that the team could use Gibson similarly in 2021.

“Christian McCaffrey in this offense a couple of years ago. Obviously one of the best players in the league,” Allen said. “I think that’s where we’re trying to push Antonio to go and he’s improved a ton. He’s gaining a lot more confidence, he’s playing a lot faster, he’s understanding it, he’s making decisions quicker. And I think the more reps he gets just like last year, the more reps he gets, the better he gets.”

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