Chris Thompson: Gruden firing didn't come 'out of the blue'

Chris Lingebach
October 07, 2019 - 11:58 am

The Washington Redskins lost to the Patriots on Sunday to fall to 0-5 and then lost their head coach Jay Gruden Monday morning.

Running back Chris Thompson, who's been with Gruden for his entire tenure as Redskins coach, faced the gripping reality after the game, tearing up in the locker room.

"It's tough. But, you know. This wasn't something that really came out of the blue," Thompson told The Sports Junkies Monday morning – presented by Steamfitters UA Local 602 – after Gruden's firing was announced.

"I mean, even before the season started, we all kind of knew if we didn't start this thing off right, or if we didn't have a good season, then we would probably be moving on from Coach Gruden," he said. "And we haven't had the best start, so I guess they just decided to do it sooner than later."

Thompson was asked if the thought of knowing Gruden would be fired is why he got so emotional after the loss.

"It wasn't just that. That's frustration of losing," he said. "It's a whole lot of stuff, and beyond that, I think some people don't understand. I've been here for, what – this is my seventh year here now, and it's beyond football. You start to love people. You start to care about people. You start to care about people that's in that building that you get to come to work with and see every single day, so it was just more than having that feeling that they were going to move on from him."

"Whether that's happened now or 10 games from now, and we had a bad season, it was probably going to happen," he said. "It's not that I feel like I would have never been in the league if it wasn't for Jay. Like, no. I wanted to be here and I believe he's one of the people that believed in me, and I appreciate that. I do.

"That's just somebody I really care about and that was just, it was tough. Like, it's a tough situation and it's something that people, I guess some people don't understand caring about people that's not family, whatever the case may be, because there were a lot of negative comments out there and I get we're doing terrible, but that's a human being, that's somebody I care about, so I got emotional about it. And I could care less what anybody thinks about that."

"I mean, it happened, so now we've gotta move on," he said. "My focus still stays the same. I've gotta do everything I can to help us win some games. I don't want to have a winless season. Like, that would completely suck. I still want to win games. We've got 11 more games. Like, I still think it's a chance that we can get in the playoffs. Like it's still the possibility. Like, it's not over yet. I'm not panicking. But it's obviously gonna be tough for me, not seeing somebody like Jay in the building."

Even at 0-5, the Redskins are just three wins behind the 3-2 Cowboys. It wouldn't be mathematically out of the question for Washington to go on a run, despite however improbable.

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