Rookie running back Antonio Gibson needs to be given the Aaron Jones treatment
Gibson has been talked up by the coaching staff and has had his skill set compared to that of Carolina Panthers all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey. Antonio can do it all. Run the ball through any gap, act as a receiver, and block. You saw some of this while he was at Memphis, but the film wasn’t as robust as other running back in the draft.
ESPN’s fantasy football shaman Matthew Berry started up a campaign for another running back in previous years that has been talked up as much as Gibson. The Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones was stuck in a running back by committee for what felt like eternity. Berry called it the #freeaaronjones campaign. This is something that fans and media should be wondering when Washington will start doing with Gibson.
By the numbers
According to Football Outsiders Antonio Gibson, through Week 3, sits ranked 13th at DYAR with 39 and 7th in DVOA at 22.2%. Compare that to J.D. McKissic, who hasn’t received enough carries to qualify, who’s DYAR is at 5 and DOVA is at -0.4%.
The belief is that Antonio’s DVOA and DYAR ratings would be higher if he had a more effective offensive line. When Washington runs to the left end they are ranked 30th and to the left tackle they are ranked 31st. When they run to the right tackle they are ranked 26th and to the right end they are ranked 22nd. However, when they run up the middle the are ranked 7th.
As the offensive line hopefully progresses and the season rolls on, Washington will need to keep finding ways to feed Gibson more, and run it down defenses throats. In other words, #freeantoniogibson.