Football Team

Gibson knows he's confusing for defenses, and he loves that, too

Football Team

Despite having exactly zero NFL carries and exactly zero NFL receptions so far, Antonio Gibson has been on the minds of a lot of people lately, from fans of the Washington Football Team to fantasy football GMs.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is thinking about the rookie as well, telling the Philadelphia media this week that his group will "have to respect him whether he’s lined up at the running back position or lined up at a wide receiver position."

So much of the intrigue stems from not really knowing how Washington will deploy Gibson, who has almost as many skills as Joe Judge has corny coaching tactics. Without the preseason, no one outside of him, his teammates and his coaching staff has been able to garner a serious grasp for his upcoming role on offense.

The third-rounder from Memphis is well aware that he's still largely a mystery entering 2020. In fact, that's precisely how he wants it to be.

"I like to keep the defense on their toes, and I love it when people get confused on what I am, because it just plays in their head," Gibson told JP Finlay in an interview on Wednesday.

"'Oh he could do this, oh he could be doing that.' To me, it's just what I've been doing my whole life. It's not new to me. It kind of gives me an advantage in some of the things I'm doing, so I love it."

 

While the specifics of Gibson's usage have yet to be revealed — how many rushing attempts will he actually get? How often will he motion out wide? Where will he be most-frequently targeted? — it does absolutely feel safe to predict he'll be featured often.

One of the more common sights at training camp was No. 24 with the ball in his hands. It was almost like he was pulling one out of his pocket. And that was before Ron Rivera moved on from Adrian Peterson. That can only mean more action for Gibson in his first year.

Because of that, his name has started making its way around the fantasy world. What started as a whisper is now being screamed about: He's worth drafting, and he could be a major difference-maker. 

He's noticed that increased attention.

"My phone's been going crazy for about a week now," he said to Finlay.

Come Sunday, the secret about Gibson will finally start to reveal itself. It should be just the first of many, many appearances in the league, but because it's the first, he's desperate for it to begin.

"I've been waking up every day excited this past week," he said. "Emotions flying around, I'm pretty excited. I'm ready to play."

Everyone's ready to watch him play, too.