Perhaps the best evidence that Washington coach Jay Gruden was about to get fired came from the tearful, past-tense comments last Sunday from running back Chris Thompson. Now that Gruden is gone and Bill Callahan has taken over, Thompson doesn’t sound thrilled with things.
“For me, it’s just, the whole situation is frustrating, being 0-5,” Thompson recently told JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, via NFL.com. “I care more about the person than I do the coach. At the end of the day, it’s somebody losing their job, somebody that I care about, somebody that I feel helped give me a big opportunity in this league on top of the Redskins drafting me.”
Thompson arrived in 2013, the last year of Mike Shanahan’s tenure. Thompson then took root on the team under Gruden, who became the coach in 2014.
“I’ve never in my football career had this happen so its just a huge change,” Thompson said regarding the in-season firing of Gruden. “It’s a big shock for everybody dealing with a new coach and Coach Callahan has his ways of how he wants to run everything, and it’s different. It takes guys some time to get used to that.”
Thompson is determined to help turn things around, in order to get at least one win.
“I refuse to be a 0-16 team,” Thompson said. “I can’t let that happen. We can’t let that happen. I know it’s not just a one-man job but we got to focus up these last 11 games and find a way to make it happen.”
It’s hard to imagine Washington going winless based on only five games. But if they lose to Miami, the two most realistic chances at wins come against the Jets and Giants.
The bump that comes from elevating Callahan should be good enough. As explained in this week’s joint #PFTPM/Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast, Washington should emerge with their first — and perhaps only — win of the year.