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Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

Jay Gruden views Chris Thompson as the NFL's best third-down running back

In 2016, Chris Thompson simply needed to prove to Jay Gruden that he could handle 16 NFL games.

Now, looking ahead to 2017, the fifth-year running back hopes to show his head coach he can shoulder 16 NFL games and a larger workload.

"I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year," Thompson said Monday at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation. "[Gruden] knows now that I'm healthy and I can stay healthy, which I think that was one of his biggest concerns. So now he sees that I can handle the load, I think that I'll get a lot more opportunities this year."

Last season was by far the best in the 26-year-old's career. He played a full slate of games after playing in just 19 over his first three seasons combined, and he set career highs in rushing attempts (68), yards (356), receptions (49), receiving yards (349) and total touchdowns (5).

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He also held up well in pass protection, a key duty for him as the team's third-down running back. And it's all of those qualities β€” being able to contribute on handoffs and with catches while also providing help in keeping Kirk Cousins upright β€” that make him an excellent fit for a popular NFL duty.

The most excellent in that duty, actually, if you ask Gruden. 

"I think Chris Thompson's role is big," he said. "When you're talking about third downs, that's the most important down in football. There's nobody better as a third-down back in my opinion than Chris. He's got a huge role on this football team." 

Gruden went on to indicate that an increase in Thompson's responsibilities is likely coming, though No. 25 will still do the majority of his work when the offense needs him most.

"Whether he does some more stuff on first- and second-down will be determined," he said. "I'm sure he will. But he's so valuable on third-down that I gotta keep him in that role for now."

A 2013 fifth-round pick who came into the league with a history of injuries, Thompson has now fully gained the trust of his coaches and teammates. The 5-foot-8 running back may be small in stature, but the Redskins know he's not small in importance.  

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Thanks to John Wall, one class's final exam became a lot less stressful

Thanks to John Wall, one class's final exam became a lot less stressful

These days, it seems like there are two ways to handle an exam at school.

The first way can be considered the old-fashioned method: Looking over the materials from that semester or year in a method that scholars refer to as "studying."

The second way, meanwhile, is more of a recent, but still effective, trend: Lob a tweet at an athlete on Twitter and ask them to retweet it, and if they do, celebrate as you and your class cash in on an agreement made with your teacher beforehand.

One particularly bold class opted for the second route on Monday, and thanks to John Wall, the students in that class now have nothing to worry about when it comes to math.

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It started when a Twitter user named Luke took the following photo of his teacher with a sign that detailed a deal made between her and her pupils. All Wall had to do was see, and then acknowledge, that message, and everyone in that period would receive a 100 on the final test.

Fortunately for the kids, the Wizards' team account discovered Luke's request and also passed it along to Washington's point guard:

After that, well, all you need to do is check out Luke's reaction to figure out if Wall held up his end of the bargain:

Even in the offseason, the man can pick up an assist.

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Kirk Cousins sent a special video to teenager who's recovering from a car accident

Kirk Cousins sent a special video to teenager who's recovering from a car accident

If you don't have friends who are like the players on Langley High School's football team, go get yourself some friends who are like the players on Langley High School's football team.

Last weekend, Hans Vollmecke, a 17-year-old junior who plays for Langley, was badly hurt after losing control of his truck while driving in heavy rain. Vollmecke suffered head trauma, a broken pelvis and bruised lungs among other injuries as a result of the wreck.

After hearing about the accident, Vollmecke's teammates started brainstorming ways to give him a boost in his recovery. They landed on one that was a longshot: Reach Kirk Cousins, Vollmecke's favorite Redskin, and ask him to send along a video for encouragement.

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That's when Bennett Norris, another Langley player, emailed an address listed in Cousins' Twitter bio and explained the situation. A few days later, Norris was shocked to receive an email back with a video of the quarterback telling Vollmecke that he's in his thoughts.

Here's a separate video that shows the moment the teenager's friends surprised him with Cousins' personalized message:

"No way," he says upon realizing what he's about to watch. The room then explodes after Cousins wraps up his remarks.

"I did not expect him to do that," Hans told Redskins.com. "He’s more than just a professional football player."

Thanks to Jake Kring-Schreifels and Scott Allen for sharing details about this story.

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