Chris Thompson (black pants, gray shirt), will have a big impact on the Redskins offense in 2013
ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA) -- When asked a question about Pierre Garcon in his Thursday press conference, Robert Griffin III instead decided to rave about two rookies on offense: Florida tight end Jordan Reed and Florida State running back Chris Thompson.
"It's weird, it's been a blessing in disguise that some of the guys I've been able to work with Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson -- those are guys we are going to lean heavily on. So I get to build that chemistry with them. Get a feel for how Jordan and Chris play."
Thursday, Griffin, Reed and Thompson were inseparable. All three injured players went through various rehabbing stations together. Close to full speed passing drills in the middle of the field, running activities on the sideline. Watching Griffin coach players younger than him (see above picture) was the spectacle of the day if you ask me.
"It's been so fun, just trying to get used to Robert," said a smiling Thompson, who has a similar bubbly personality to starter Alfred Morris. "I wish I could be doing the same with all the other running backs...but it's good that I've been getting with [RGIII]."
No, Chris Thompson, it isn't just good; it's tremendous. Say Robert Griffin does have some input on the final roster spots -- not a ridiculous assumption for an MVP candidate who acts and plays like he's 27. I'd bet he goes to bat for Thompson. Griffin pointed out later in his presser how when Thompson is in a drill with Roy Helu, "He starts revving up his reps because he doesn't want to be shown up. I try and keep an eye on him."
We know Mike Shanahan's obsession with late-round running backs. This is bold, but I'd say Thompson at this very moment holds an advantage over Evan Royster and Helu in the backfield. If Pierre Garcon taught us anything in 2012, it's that this offense needs more speed at the skill positions.
To a non-trained sports eye, Thompson's explosiveness -- even on a bum knee -- is uncomplicated to spot. His route running is pure. His hands are silky. More importantly the pistol formation last year was missing someone with this exact skill set: a shifty hybrid running back to lineup all over the formation, creating even more trickery for the defense to worry about. The Shanahan's tried to use Brandon Banks in that capacity but Thompson could blossom into a home run hitter.
It sounds cliche because Thompson stands at 5-foot-7, but he really could have a Darren Sproles like impact on the Redskins offense.
"I can catch real good, run routes. I'm not doubting my running abilities either, inside or outside the tackles. Pretty much whatever coach asks me to do," said Thompson.
I've been wrong before, but I'm getting the same type of vibes about Thompson's abilities that I did about Alfred Morris last summer. I wrote Morris deserved more playing time and that he reminded me of old Redskins bruiser Stephen Davis. Clearly May NFL practices are not comparable to the real games, but Thompson has flashed his 'wow' abilities to me. Here's a good article from HTTR-24-7 on how the pair could be "lightning and thunder," together.
Thompson says he feels "really good" right now, but the team is going to hold him out until training camp. He tore his ACL in late October.
"You better believe the first day of training camp I will be out there."