By almost any measure, Antonio Gibson is a successful NFL player. He entered the league as a rookie, changed positions and became a starter and a budding star on a playoff team.
But what's one more goal between Washington Football Team friends?
“That was something I really wanted,” Gibson said of reaching 1,000 yards rushing in his initial pro season. “This year, I’m priding myself on surpassing that.”
Gibson entered the NFL as a running back after spending much of his college time at Memphis mostly playing receiver. But the WFT staff had a vision for the ... third-round draft pick - a vision in part powered by the fact that Antonio is 6-2 and 220 pounds - and Gibson largely realized that vision.
As a rookie, Gibson ran 170 times for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games, fighting through a late-season injury to help the WFT secure the NFC East title and a playoff berth.
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"You can tell he's matured, got a better feel and understanding," coach Ron Rivera said recently. "Those natural instincts that you look for, the intangibles that guys that have been playing the positions their whole career naturally have. You start to see those come to light with Antonio. It's exciting."
Gibson has termed the 2020 season “a learning process” for him, and that seems fair. It also seems fair to predict that the learning process is going to morph into a learning curve that probably won't be an obstacle on the way to Gibson's 1,000-yard goal in 2021.