Bill Callahan's calm demeanor derives from yoga

Chris Lingebach
November 05, 2019 - 6:49 pm

The personality differences between Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan couldn't be more stark.

Callahan will drive fans and reporters alike crazy waiting for information. The Redskins interim coach is calm and deliberate in his pressers, ever so careful not to reveal too much. Basically the polar opposite of his predecessor.

How that compares with his demeanor behind closed doors to the team is what really matters. Redskins running back Chris Thompson was able to shed some light on that version of Callahan during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies, presented by Steamfitters UA Local 602.

"To me, he's always been like this calm... he has like this calm demeanor," Thompson said on 106.7 The Fan. "He's a big yoga guy as well, so I think that's where some of that comes from."

The Junkies let out a collective 'really?' gasp at the notion of Callahan being a yoga guy.

"Yes. Yes. Like, he's faithful to it," Thompson said. "Like now, his role has changed, so now he's more so just surveying everything. You know, just kind of walking around, making sure everything's doing good, as what most head coaches do, or probably all."

"So he's not in there in the trenches with the O-line and getting after it with those guys," he said. "But when we are in practice, we might have a bad play, or a guy might false start or something, he'll get loud and get with guys. But during the games and stuff, as far as I've seen, he stays pretty calm through the moment.

"He usually, especially game time, he just talks to the guys. He doesn't do a lot of yelling and all of that that he may do during the practices. I like it. He's real calm and just kind of laid back. That's Coach Callahan. What you see now is what I've seen and been around this whole time, other than his moments when he's coaching his O-line."

Thompson, who's missed the past three games with a turf toe injury, also addressed Callahan's run-first, -second and -third approach to the offense.

"You're a running back, so you've gotta like the emphasis on the running game," Eric Bickel prefaced his question. "From afar though, it just seems like it's hard – I don't know – when everybody knows you're just gonna pound the football. There doesn't seem to be a lot of creativity there.

"Again, I don't want to put you in the position to be critical, but do you like this approach? We're just gonna try to shorten the game, grind it out and then maybe steal it in the end. Do you like that approach?"

"I'm hoping that with time it gets better," said Thompson. "I mean, obviously AP has been doing great in the run game, but really for the most part, since the Miami game, I've missed the last three games. So I haven't even been playing and really been part of the offense to be able to come in and kind of be that guy to change things up, change looks up here and there, and (Wendell) Smallwood has been there and been able to do some different stuff."

"But we just put in a... we had a two-running back personnel in this past game, so I think those things are gonna help it not look, I guess, so boring, as you say, and just watching the game, how it looks," he said. "I think just being a guy that's sat back and I've been home watching the games, it could look that way, so I understand where you're coming from."

"Coach Callahan, he has an emphasis on running the ball and being great at doing that," Thompson continued. "The big thing is we need to be able to control the clock as well. When we do get our opportunities in the pass game, I think we haven't done so great at maximizing those opportunities, so it's kinda been one of those, 'Ah, here we go. We're running the ball again. We're running the ball again.'

"I think it's definitely going to help us in the long run once I'm feeling good and able to get back in the offense. I think we'll be fine."