Redskins

Quick Links

Chris Thompson explains why the Redskins rushing attack was so successful in win over Carolina

Chris Thompson explains why the Redskins rushing attack was so successful in win over Carolina

It took 13 weeks, but the Redskins displayed a rushing attack in Sunday's victory over Carolina that many expected to be a weekly occurrence in 2019.

In Washington's 29-21 road victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins rushed for 248 yards, over 100 yards more than they finished with in any game prior. They nearly had two 100-yard rushers, as Adrian Peterson finished with 99 yards to go along with Derrius Guice's stellar 129-yard outing.

What was the difference for the Burgundy and Gold's rushing attack in Week 13? Redskins running back Chris Thompson joined The Sports Junkies on Monday to explain why the ground attack was so successful in Charlotte.

Washington came into Sunday's contest with Carolina with a plan, and that course of action was to set the tone with their rushing attack.

"Coach Callahan, ever since he's taken over, he's wanted to make [the running game] a big focus," Thompson said. "This week for sure, he was telling us every day, 'In order to beat this team, we're going to have to run the ball.' I think the O-Line just took that as a challenge. AP and Guice, they ran for [228 yards] together. It was great. Everything was just clicking."

The effort by those two didn't give running back Chris Thompson many opportunities in his return to the field (Thompson has been sidelined since Week 6), but that didn't matter to No. 25. The team won, and Thompson even joked on Twitter about it.

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the first quarter, scoring with ease on their first two drives. It would have been easy for Callahan and the Redskins to abandon the run down two scores, but the old-school head coach stuck with the plan he entered the day with.

"Our first 12 plays that we had scripted, I think seven out of the 12 were run plays," Thompson said. "[Callahan] was trying to set a tone and we were able to do so. It was just on point and we were going to stick with it."

Perhaps no run quite described the tone the Redskins were trying to set like the nasty, jaw-dropping stiff-arm that Guice delivered on a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter. 

"It was crazy. Right before, [Guice] kept telling me, 'Man, nobody out there is talking noise. The only one that's been talking is Shaq [Thompson],'" Thompson said. "He just kept saying that every time he was coming off the sideline. He got his opportunity, and he was able to get his payback with that stiff-arm."

The second-year pro turned in easily the best game of his young career -- notching 129 yards on the ground on just 10 carries to go along with two touchdowns. The complete effort from Guice on Sunday is exactly what the Redskins have been waiting to see for close to two years. 

"It was just great to see that out of him," Thompson said. "That's what we saw at LSU. That's why he was considered to be the first running back drafted a couple of years ago. Plays like that and his angry run style. It was real good to see."

The Redskins entered 2019 with a plan to win by leaning on their run game and their defense. It took three-quarters of the season, but it finally happened in Week 13.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

One of the best linebackers of the last decade, Luke Kuechly retired from football this week in a move that stunned many. For years Kuechly has dealt with injuries, including multiple concussions, and decided his body could not withstand anymore life in the NFL. 

Or at least being on the field. 

A new NFL Network report suggested that Kuechly could be looking to stay in the game in a coaching or consulting role, and that it could happen this season. 

"I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Luke Kuechly in the NFL. As a player we have," Mike Garafolo said on Good Morning Football.

The natural question for Redskins fans becomes if Kuechly could land in Washington. New Redskins coach Ron Rivera was with the Panthers when the team drafted Kuechly ninth overall in 2012, and the duo worked closely together. It's been widely reported that Kuechly and Rivera have a strong relationship too. 

When Kuechly announced his retirement, Rivera took to Twitter to compare the linebacker to Hall of Famers Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Rivera also said he "will remember Luke’s sense of humor, his leadership & 4 being a great teammate."

The Redskins recently announced their assistant coaches and linebackers coach Steve Russ worked with Kuechly for the past two seasons in Carolina. There is no assistant linebackers coach on the staff, but that's a role that could be created. There are few rules about assistant coaches in the NFL; for example, last season the Redskins employed an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach because they played a 3-4 system. This year the team will play the 4-3. 

It's unclear what role Kuechly would want, and while the connection to Rivera is obvious, so is the connection to Carolina. 

"Certainly the Panthers would love to have him be a part of their organization in some capacity," Garafolo said. 

What happens next for Kuechly remains unknown. He just retired from football a few days ago. He might need time to make his next series of decisions. 

Based on Rivera's actions so far as the new Redskins boss, however, it would not be a surprise at all if the head coach tries to get Kuechly to Washington. Rivera has hired just about everyone else that was with the Panthers in the last decade; why not add one more?

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team underperformed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: