A protracted, very long time in the past, I can nonetheless bear in mind when Antonio Gibson used to make me smile. And I knew if he bought that probability, that he’d make all of DC dance, and perhaps they’d be pleased for some time. Then, Aug. 16, 2022, made me shiver, as a result of I simply learn that Gibson was taking reps with the Commanders’ punt crew in follow!
What occurred man? Gibson was alleged to be the following massive factor. He gave us probably the most memorable performances of 2020 together with his unbelievable three-touchdown displaying towards Dallas on Thanksgiving. He performed extensive receiver in school, so he had nice palms for a halfback. He was all the pieces a coach may ask for. Yet by some means, Gibson managed to lose a number of touches to JD McKissic in 2021 and will probably simply be used as a change-of-pace again in 2022 behind each McKissic and Brian Robinson Jr. Gibson wasn’t unhealthy final 12 months. He averaged 4 yards a carry, and whereas that quantity was decrease than McKissic’s 4.4, Gibson was usually operating in far more apparent operating conditions. So, why has he been all however forgotten in Ron Rivera’s offense?
The very first thing that involves thoughts is his pass-blocking. While Gibby may be a good pass-catcher, he can’t cease a cross rusher to save lots of his life. Midway by way of final season, Gibson had a pass-blocking grade of 19.2 from Pro Football Focus — the bottom amongst certified backs at that time within the season. That grade did get barely higher because the season progressed, however Gibson’s untrustworthiness on passing downs was already well-documented, and choosing an unbelievable cross blocking again like McKissic simply made far more sense. Gibson completed the season with a forty five.4 cross blocking grade. McKissic completed with a grade of 66.3, and was extra environment friendly within the run recreation. It was a transfer that simply made sense to the Washington employees.
Pass blocking wasn’t the one factor retaining Gibson on the sidelines although. Gibby additionally had an issue with fumbles. In 2021, he put the ball on the ground six times — essentially the most of any non-quarterback within the league final season. So maybe when Gibson fumbled within the Commanders’ preseason opener, Rivera determined to ship Gibson a message, letting him know that his job wasn’t secure. While Gibson did end out follow with the first-stringers yesterday, Rivera has made it abundantly clear that Gibson is on ice thinner than Christian Bale in “The Machinist”.
Much like Denzel Washington in “Remember the Titans,” Rivera appears prepared to interrupt his foot off in Gibson’s “John Brown hind parts,” however as an alternative of operating a mile afterward, Gibson will probably be operating safety on particular groups, a destiny worse than loss of life for a once-promising halfback. I hope it by no means involves that. Gibson continues to be tremendously proficient and with a bit extra grip energy, I absolutely imagine he can return to his 2020 type, however we’ll must see that occur actually quickly.