Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Antonio Gibson & Logan Thomas


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Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Antonio Gibson & Logan Thomas

NFL Films/ESPN legend — and one of the best talent evaluators in the business — Greg Cosell has gone through a metric ton of 2020 tape to provide insights on some interesting players headed into the 2021 NFL season. Here, he brings you his raw notes and observations from those tape sessions.

It’s a chance to get inside the mind of one of the greats of the industry.

One of the most impressive rookies of the 2020 season, fantasy players are hoping Antonio Gibson takes the step toward fantasy superstardom in 2021. Did his tape show a player who can ascend to those heights?

Also, could TE Logan Thomas — a converted QB who was a waiver-wire gem in 2020 — continue to put up massive numbers with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Let’s see what the tape showed about two of Washington’s most important players.


  • Gibson is a powerful, competitive, relentless, straight-line downhill runner who is a little stiff in his hips and core, but has a strong lower half with natural power and finishing traits.

  • Gibson showed good patience and vision, especially in the zone run game. He showed a feel for the fluidity of gaps and an intuitive sense that it is not always speed to the hole, but rather speed through the hole.

  • Gibson showed needed functional quickness to work from gap-to-gap in the mid zone and outside zone run games.

  • Gibson is more of a build-up-speed runner than a short-area-explosive burst runner. He is not overly shifty or elusive with loose hips and high-level lateral agility, but much more of a downhill, freight-train type runner who needs a track to get to speed.

  • Gibson was featured in multiple run game concepts: inside and outside zone, gap scheme with power and counter, trap, pin-pull.

  • Gibson’s build up speed was a big factor on the pin-pull concept, where he could get to the perimeter with space to accelerate.

  • Trap was part of the Washington running game versus 4-3 fronts with defined 3-technique or 4i DT – 20 yards versus Eagles Week 1.

  • Gap scheme and trap concepts played to Gibson’s powerful downhill strengths as a runner. They are both strong run concepts versus 4-3 front looks with 3-technique or 4i DT and nose shade opposite.

  • Washington featured motion across the formation as a meaningful part of their run game with Gibson. It often had an impact on second level defenders, either removing them from their gap responsibilities in the run game or creating a beat of uncertainty and hesitation in their reaction.

  • One thing that stood out watching Gibson’s runs was how good RG Brandon Scherff was on the move. He consistently showed excellent mobility, both working to the second level in the zone run game and pulling outside in the C/G pull scheme with the balance and body control to strike and sustain on the move.

  • Gibson ran flat routes, angle routes, drag routes, and conventional screens from offset alignment in the backfield. There were also snaps in which Gibson aligned as the boundary X on the back side of trips with a second back in the backfield. Gibson also ran drive routes and played snaps out of empty sets in which he ran WR screens (40 yards versus Ravens).

  • With his size, strong lower body, competitiveness, and powerful finishing traits, Gibson has the attributes of a volume back who can provide a sustaining dimension to the Washington offense.


  • Thomas made some tough catches that demanded a wide catching radius and good hands. He also used his big body effectively to shield defenders when demanded.

  • Thomas showed physical and competitive run-after-catch ability. I think he will continue to improve in that area with further experience.

  • Thomas ran vertical route concepts in the Washington offense. That’s part of the Scott Turner route tree: corner routes (at times part of flood concept), sail routes, wheel routes, vertical seams.

  • The 989 combination — two go routes from the outside receivers and a post from the Y — is a staple of the Washington offense under Scott Turner (it comes from the Don Coryell pass game that Norv Turner ran in Dallas with Troy Aikman). Thomas ran the 8 route — the post — in that concept.

  • There were snaps in which Thomas lined up as the boundary X on the back side of trips: from this alignment, he ran snag, shallow cross, out routes.

  • Thomas was featured in motion, both across the formation and return motion in the Washington pass game — TE motion is a staple of the Washington offense.

  • A staple route concept for Washington out of 11 2x2 sets was double glance to the field and slant-flat to the boundary. Thomas was #2 to the boundary, and he ran the flat route getting the ball with room to turn upfield and utilize his YAC ability.

  • Most of Thomas’ explosive receptions came on corner routes, vertical seams, and wheel routes.

  • My sense watching Thomas’ 2020 tape is that he is an ascending player who will be utilized more in the intermediate and vertical passing games that are foundations of Scott Turner’s offense.

One of the preeminent NFL analysts in the country, Cosell has worked for NFL Films for over 40 years. Due to his vast knowledge of personnel and matchups based on tape study, Cosell regularly supplies us with valuable and actionable insight and intelligence that cannot be found anywhere else.