Washington running backs coach Keith Bhonapha spoke glowingly about linebacker Shaq Thompson, who has played primarily at running the past two games.
Here’s Bhonapha on Thompson:
(What has the discussions been like amongst the coaching staff in terms of where Thompson will play?) “I think that’s one of those things that’s up to Coach Pete. Obviously we’re excited to have him on the offensive side of the ball. When it comes to this game, it’s the ultimate team game and with him sacrificing some of his defensive reps to come over to offense shows the type person that he is. I’m just excited if we do have him and if we don’t we’ll be cheering him on. We got to get ready to go.”
(What’s the biggest challenges Thompson faces offensively?) “The big thing when it comes to having a guy that’s really both ways and someways 50/50 in the meetings and sometimes less than that is really just getting them dialed in to the play calling with the signals, with protection and who he’s looking at in pass protection. And also with him being gifted as a runner you definitely got to get him pointed in the right direction. If the play is supposed to be going right and all of sudden he takes off left that’s a problem. Those are the things you have to go through and do your best to meet with, show it to him on the field and do your best to keep him ready to go when it’s his turn.”
(How would you describe Thompson as a runner to someone who hasn’t seen him play?) “Natural. He’s a really natural player. Really savvy. Understands leverage and things like that. I think the thing that makes him so gifted and so special at the position is his size. He’s a big dude. I think he’s 220 pounds and he’s very fast and he’s very agile. Decent hands. Great vision. When it comes to somebody of that stature who has those things, he can actually go out there and be productive when he knows what he’s doing. He’s a natural.”