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Why one analyst thinks a DJ Moore-like role would be perfect for Antonio Gibson on the Redskins

Why one analyst thinks a DJ Moore-like role would be perfect for Antonio Gibson on the Redskins

The Redskins have a grand vision for how they want to use Antonio Gibson on offense. Not everyone agrees that's the best way to incorporate the third-round pick, though.

During an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, NBC Sports analyst Josh Norris explained that he's actually "a little nervous" about Washington's plans for Gibson. To him, the "Swiss Army Knife ideas" that are so prevalent in the NFL (and come up so often when imagining Gibson's role as a pro) aren't as functional in practice as they are in theory.

Instead, Norris would rather the Redskins line Gibson up at one spot for the majority of his snaps and focus on getting him involved there, as opposed to sprinkling him in at running back as well as at inside and outside receiver.

In fact, according to Norris, one thriving player in the league has a game that's very similar to Gibson's and that player's team has figured out how to use him perfectly. Conveniently enough for the Burgundy and Gold, their new offensive coordinator has already worked with the guy, too.

"I’d look at Scott Turner in his past and what he did last year with DJ Moore is how I, personally, would use Antonio Gibson," Norris told Redskins Talk. "DJ Moore is not, if you look at his skills and where he’s best, I wouldn’t put route running at the top. What he is best at are slants and routes across the formation like drags and getting the ball in his hands. Antonio Gibson can do all of that stuff."

It sure seems like the organization intends to use the Memphis product as a running back, at least early on in his career. They even gave him a running back's number back in late April.

While Norris acknowledged the backfield is where Gibson could make the easiest transition, he believes the "absolute monster after the catch" could really do damage out of the slot if Turner's willing to feature him that way.

"If you want, put him there and let him dominate in the middle of the field and take those fun and exciting touches in the backfield," Norris said. "To me, that’s his best role. Not being like, ‘OK, now we’re going to take Derrius Guice out of the ball game and put Antonio Gibson here for three snaps.’"


Gibson can do some really rare things for someone his size, but he's still quite raw in some aspects. That, combined with an offseason where in-person coaching and 11-on-11 reps will be super limited, may prevent him from really contributing early. 

To help speed up that process, Norris suggested looking at what the Seahawks did with DK Metcalf and the 49ers did with Deebo Samuel in 2019, in addition to how the Panthers have deployed Moore.

With Metcalf and Samuel, for example, Seattle and San Fran "kept things super simple for them and then just added as the year went along." For the first handful of weeks last year, those two weren't asked to handle much more than what they had to manage in college.

If the Redskins follow that blueprint with Gibson, Norris is confident they can get yards and scores out of him right away, then watch him develop even more as he gains experience.

"Antonio Gibson is the type of player that needs to be on the field in an offense that lacks that explosion completely," he concluded.

Turner, Ron Rivera and everyone other decision maker with Washington surely agrees with that statement, which is why they selected Gibson 66th overall in the draft. Yet just because Gibson can do a lot doesn't mean he will do a lot.

The Redskins have the makings of a dangerous offensive tool in Gibson, yes, but they have a ways to go before he turns into one. And while the team and Norris may disagree on what position that's most likely to occur at, they surely intersect when it comes to wanting to highlight his abilities with the ball in his hands.


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Max Kellerman says Redskins owner Dan Snyder will 'stand at a podium and change the name'

Max Kellerman says Redskins owner Dan Snyder will 'stand at a podium and change the name'

As the Washington Redskins continue to conduct an internal review of its name after facing public pressure from many of its largest corporate sponsors, many believe the team's moniker will be changed. Both NBC Sports Washington and multiple other outlets have reported that the team will likely not play another game with 'Redskins' as its name.

ESPN First Take host Max Kellerman believes a name change is long overdue and said on Thursday he wants Redskins owner Dan Snyder to apologize for not changing the name sooner.

"You will stand at a podium. You will stand at a podium and change the name," Kellerman said on Snyder. "In addition, you will apologize for not doing it sooner."

Kellerman even went a step further, saying the team should never have been nicknamed the Redskins.

"The name shouldn't have been that in the first place," Kellerman said. "It certainly should have been changed years ago."


Public pressure has amounted towards the Redskins to change in the middle of a social justice movement in America following the killing of George Floyd. Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking several protests nationwide demanding justice.

For Kellerman, he doesn't think it should have taken a major social reform movement -- like what's currently going on in the United States -- for Washington to consider ditching its name.

"It should not have taken a whole social, political movement, a pandemic [to change the name]," Kellerman said. "In fact, it didn't take that for people who just thought about [the name] for two seconds and could see that it would be offensive to Native Americans."

Over the past week, the Redskins' name controversy has been a major topic of conversation, and not just in the sports media world. D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser said she is happy to see the name change, while District Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said she would propose a bill for the team to build its new stadium on the old RFK Stadium site after the name is changed.

Not everyone believes a name change is on the horizon, however. FS1's Skip Bayless doubts the franchise will actually change its name, while President Donald Trump derided the move.


On the other hand, Stephen A. Smith, Kellerman's First Take co-host, believes President Donald Trump's actions allowed Washington to keep its name for as long as it has.

Throughout his rant about the Redskins' name, Kellerman said multiple times how upset he has been that Washington has yet to change its name. A public apology from the team's owner for not changing the moniker sooner is the least Dan Snyder can do in Kellerman's mind. 

"The fact that this despicable name has not been changed is a national outrage and a disgrace," Kellerman said. "So I think Dan Snyder not only will change the name but owes an apology."


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Could Dan Snyder be forced out of owning the Redskins? One expert seriously doubts it

Could Dan Snyder be forced out of owning the Redskins? One expert seriously doubts it

With the Redskins seemingly on the verge of changing their name after 80-plus years, people are allowing themselves to wonder what other massive changes could be coming for the organization. Some have even asked the wildest question of all: Is Dan Snyder's ownership nearing its end?

Snyder himself has given no indication that he has any interest in selling the team, but the organization's three minority owners did reportedly try to convince him to part ways with his portion recently. At the very least, some movement at the top around him feels quite possible. 

Upon hearing that, there's been chatter about whether that trio would have any power to actually make Snyder give up his place with the Redskins. Sure, that sounds crazy, but a few states apparently really want the franchise to become the Washington Redwolves, so crazy things are clearly happening right now.

During his time on the Redskins Talk podcast, though, Randy Vataha — a former NFL receiver who's now the president of Game Plan LLC, which specializes in providing services to those hoping to buy and sell pieces of pro sports teams — explained why Snyder being ousted by the other stakeholders is highly unlikely.

"Being able to force an owner out would be very difficult," Vataha told JP Finlay. "They generally have absolute control over the entity and the league has blessed that back when it was first acquired. I never say anything in sports is impossible. But I doubt that he can be forced out."


The NFL itself is the only entity that could really pull something like that off, per Vataha, but even that's rare. For proof, he cited former Raiders owner Al Davis, who didn't exactly play by the rules yet still remained in charge for 39 years.

"All they went through with litigation, relocation, ignoring the league's mandate that he couldn't move to LA and back and all of that, he was never forced out," Vataha said.

So, in the end, while Vataha may expect the Redskins to soon become known as something else, he's not at all waiting for them to be led by someone else as well.

"The league is generally pretty careful that the owner of a team can not be forced out," he said.

Stay connected with the Redskins in the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.