Ron Rivera with a 'monster' comparison for rookie Antonio Gibson


Want some great news? Ron Rivera compared rookie running back Antonio Gibson to retired NFL great Arian Foster. 

"Right now, I compare his running style to Arian Foster. I like what the young man can be for us," Rivera said.

For the uninformed, Foster was a monster. 

In 2010, he posted more than 2,200 total yards and 18 touchdowns. In 2011, he posted more than 1,800 total yards and 12 touchdowns, but that year he played only 13 games. 

From 2010 to 2014, Foster made four Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team while posting at least 1,500 total yards in four out of five seasons. 

Which brings us back to Rivera's comparison for his rookie RB. Through 11 games this year, Gibson has nearly 900 total yards to go with 11 total touchdowns. 

The bulk of Gibson's yardage total has come on the ground, about 75 percent, which is almost identical to Foster's career breakdown between rushing yards and receiving yards. 

For Rivera, it's the size and run style that remind Gibson most of Foster. 

"I like the way [Gibson] runs the ball, good body lean when he runs, deceptive speed and burst and he's got good vision."

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Foster and Gibson have similar builds too, even if Gibson might be a bit taller and heavier. Both backs could make defenders miss, or lower a shoulder and run through a guy. 

Still, Gibson seems to be just scratching the surface of his potential as an NFL running back. It's been often pointed out, but he's only a rookie with just two 20-carry games in his career. And this time last year, he was a wide receiver at the University of Memphis. He's learned a lot in a short time and could develop into much more. 


"There's been a lot of great moments already where you say, 'Man, that's pretty good.' But to say we know what the finished product is, that's a bit premature," Rivera said of Gibson. "Is the potential there? Most certainly. Has he shown us some things that get you excited? Absolutely."

Washington's coach actually thinks Gibson could grow significantly as a pass catcher.

"He's learning to be the kind of runner we hope he can be for us. And his skill set of catching the ball out of the backfield, we haven't even really gotten to that point yet either," the coach said.

In his last two games, Gibson's averaged more than 100 yards-per-game, over 5.8 yards-per-carry and has scored four TDs. 

With 11 touchdowns this season, Gibson only trails Alfred Morris' 13 TD performance in 2012 for the franchise rookie record. Washington has five games left, and it's entirely possible - if not probable - Gibson overtakes Morris for that record. 

Being compared to Arian Foster is a big deal, but if Gibson keeps it up, it could seem quite reasonable in a few years.