Chris Thompson defends Jay Gruden: 'He's my guy'

Chris Lingebach
September 24, 2019 - 6:39 pm

Redskins coach Jay Gruden is fighting to turn his team's season around after an 0-3 start and, maybe, for his job.

Gruden is under contract through the 2020 season, but now in his sixth season coaching the Redskins, a failure to make the playoffs in 2019 would be his fourth straight failure to do so since winning the NFC East crown in 2015. The Redskins have finished third in the division in each of the past three seasons and are in the NFC East cellar at the moment.

"He's my guy, so I'm gonna do everything I possibly can to make him look good, make this team look good, and that's just how I feel," running back Chris Thompson told The Sports Junkies during his weekly appearance Tuesday, presented by Steamfitters UA Local 602.

"That's just the situation that we're in now and we all understand it," he said. "We're not doing good right now, and that's just not his job on the line right now, it's players' jobs on the line as well if we don't turn this thing around. As a whole group, we've just got a find a way to get this thing back together and turn this around, because at the end of this season, if we keep going at this pace, it's not gonna be good for a whole lot of people. Rightfully so."

Thompson, now in his seventh NFL season, was released by the Redskins as a final roster cut during his sophomore 2014 season – Gruden's first coaching the Redskins – before earning his way back onto the roster and going on to prove himself as a valued mainstay of the backfield.

"I feel differently for Jay than I think a lot of other people did, because when I got cut my second year, like, I wasn't happy about it," Thompson said. "I mean, obviously every guy's gonna be upset about it, but that was something I wasn't happy about it. And I sat down with Jay and I talked to him for a good time, and I know how he feels about me, how I feel about him, and I feel like he was one of the biggest reasons why I was still here. He's always been 100 percent with me. I don't know about everybody else."

Thompson was asked if he's noticed a change in Gruden's demeanor this season.

"I think for the most part he's still the same guy," he said. "Of course he understands the situation. We all as players understand the situation. From day one when we got back here, he's been a little more intense, which, I love it, to be honest with you. But other than that, what he coaches and what he believes in, we stand by it."

"At the end of the day man, people can kill Jay all they want to," he said. "And yes, we can all agree every play call ain't the best, on offense or defense. As running backs, we don't always hit the hole or go where we're supposed to; we don't always run the best routes as wide receivers; we don't always block the best on the offensive line.

"That's just how the game goes. You know, everything is always put on the coach, but only the players – we go back, we look at film. We say, 'Okay, we made this mistake,' but it all goes back to Jay and it makes Jay look bad. I think it's a whole group effort. It's not just the coaches, it's the players, too. We're the ones out there going out there and performing.

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