Washington RBs coach Randy Jordan wants to see Antonio Gibson catching more passes in 2021

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When the Washington Football Team selected running back Antonio Gibson in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, no one believed he would lead the team in rushing as a rookie.

After all, Washington was bringing back Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson in 2020. Fast forward to training camp, and Guice was released due to off-field issues, and Peterson was let go because the team loved what it saw from Gibson.

Gibson would go on to rush for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per rush. It’s also worth noting that Gibson battled a toe injury the entire month of December.

One element where Gibson could improve in 2021 is as a receiver. During his career at Memphis, Gibson split time between running back and wide receiver. Many WFT fans thought he’d be more involved as a pass-catcher as a rookie, but the J.D. McKissic on the roster, Gibson wasn’t used in that role too often.

McKissic, one of the top receiving backs in the NFL, caught 80 passes in 2020. Gibson finished with 36 receptions, but for only 247 yards.

Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan believes in Gibson’s ability as a receiver.

“I think that’s something we haven’t really tapped into a lot,” Jordan said after minicamp, per Zach Selby of washingtonfootball.com. “I think the biggest thing for him is utilizing his ability to catch the ball because he has caught the ball in college.”

Jordan is right. In 2019, Gibson finished with 38 receptions for 735 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged over 19 yards per receptions, proving his ability as a big-play guy.

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner wants his running backs to be versatile, which fits both Gibson and McKissic to a tee. In addition, Gibson has spoken of wanting to be more involved as a receiver, but it comes down to how much of the playbook he retains.

For Jordan, it’s all about practice.

“First and foremost, he’s a football player,” Jordan said. “The more he does it, the more opportunities he has to do it; he’ll get better at it.”

The more Washington uses Gibson as a pass-catcher, the more dangerous this new-look offense will be in 2021. Paired with McKissic, Washington has one of the more versatile backfields in the NFL.