Chris Thompson: 'I like what I'm seeing from seven'

Chris Lingebach
November 18, 2019 - 2:53 pm

Sunday's game against the Jets may not have gone in the Redskins' favor, but running back Chris Thompson likes what he's seeing from rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Thompson, who's missed the past four games with a turf toe injury, watched from home as the Redskins got their doors blown off 34-17.

"I like what I'm seeing from seven," Thompson told The Sports Junkies during his weekly appearance Monday, presented by Steamfitters UA Local 602.

"You do?" Eric Bickel said.

"Yes," Thompson said. "Just his preparation and the way he's played the last two games since he's been given the start, I see a whole lot of progress in him and like I said before, I saw him getting better and better every day. I think he's taken some big strides."

"Another thing that I'm looking forward to is just, when I'm feeling right, just going out there and playing with him and being able to help him any way that I possibly can," he said. "I liked it. Obviously got still some work to do and I think on the skill set side, we've got to do some things to help him as well."

Haskins has taken on enemy fire at an alarming rate playing behind a patchwork offensive line. Through four games this season, he's been sacked 14 times, with 10 of those sacks coming in the last two games, his only starts. Thompson chalks part of that up to the rookie QB's understanding of protections, something he says Haskins can improve upon as he grows more comfortable.

"I think sometimes it's just he's, for one, he doesn't have anywhere to go in there," Thompson explained. "For two, it's just understanding... you know, protections is really a big thing for quarterbacks, and being able to see where the pressure is coming from and knowing where it's coming from, even if everybody can't get blocked up, and being able to, if you can't avoid it, just knowing when and when not to throw the ball, or knowing when to throw the ball away."

"In our offense," he continued, "it's real big just understanding the protections, being able to flip the protections when we need to. Cause one of the protections, I think we ended up not like flipping the protection to Jamal Adams' side and he ended up coming free, or the tackle went out and blocked Jamal Adams, and the defensive end or linebacker on that side ended up coming free. You know, it's things like that.

"Just gotta be able to see and I think also just gotta be able to help him. I'll get to know a little more of what the protections was when we get to watch the game and stuff today. We do a lot of protections where we either flip the protections and get the running back out on routes, or if the running back is lined up on the opposite side, getting us to come back and block those guys."

"It's little small things like that he'll continue to learn more and more as he understands the offense and how these protections work," he said.

As for what he likes from Haskins, Thompson sees positives in the rookie not being afraid to step up in the pocket, in the face of an oncoming rush, and make throws, as well as his willingness to take chances downfield.

"I mean, I've seen games where he's had pressure coming, and instead of stepping up in the pocket, he took off and ran back to the right or left or whatever, and ended up getting sacked that way," he said. "And just to see him stepping up in the pocket is good, and seeing him, you know one of the plays we ran, where he threw a route to Guice, he ran every single – he went through all of his reads.

"Instead of getting nervous – one and two's not open – and just take off and run, he looked through, he took his whole progression and then was able to drop it off to Guice and he got some yards on the play. It's things like that where I see that he's getting more and more comfortable. I think he's understanding and getting used to the speed of the game, too, because you know it changes in the regular season."

"The couple games he got to play," Thompson went on, "he was thrown out there like in the fourth quarter or whatever and he probably didn't expect to play, you know as some guys do that play certain positions. Just given that he's been the starter and the focus has been solely on him, I think he's been doing better."