Home life typically offers a respite from the NFL work grind. That's not the case for Chris Thompson and the Washington Redskins this week, not with the schedule dictating a game occur Thursday night.
Coming off Sunday's 24-10 win over the St. Louis Rams, the Redskins (1-1) will hit the road to meet NFC East rival New York Giants (0-2). No time to rest on their laurels -- or really rest the body or mind, period.
"These types of short week's just takes a lot more studying and a lot more studying on our own," Thompson said. "The coaches don't have as much as they (normally) would with us so we have to do a lot more studying at home. When we're in our meetings, everything goes a lot quicker. We have to be able to pick up things a lot quicker and get ready."
Though prepared for any scenario, Thompson efficiently spends his time this week on his expected usage knowing that fellow running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones should receive early down work. Thompson converted a key a third down play in the second half against the Rams.
"I know my role so I'll be focused on third downs, the blitzes, different coverages [the Giants] play," he told Breaking Burgundy. "Just watching their [linebackers] and how they play man-to-man. Matt is basically doing first, second and third downs...Those guys have to focus up more on three downs than I do."
Colt McCoy explained the change in schedule for the quarterbacks.
"Normally you have a Monday and Tuesday to go over their first and second down coverages, blitzes. On a Wednesday you'll do some third downs. Thursday and Friday, you'll do some red-zone," the backup QB said. "On a week like this, everything just gets bumped up and crammed into about a day and a half."
Part of the cramming this week involves prepping for "blitzes and crazy things" from Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, McCoy said. The short week also means putting aside certain exotic play calls.
"I think on a short week, the really good teams just go back to fundamentals. Doing the things that we do well. ...Lets just do the things we know we do best and do them right," McCoy said.
The notion of simplicity blends nicely with Washington's early success on the ground this season. The Redskins lead the NFL in rushing (171.5 yards per game).
"Anytime you can run the football, that really makes a difference," McCoy said. "That just fires up the guys on offense, on defense and really sets the tone for the game...I'm a big believer in the run game."
For those who believe familiarity helps during these short weeks, both sides have help.
Former Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather now spearheads the Giants' unit.
"Meriweather was here so he knows a whole lot about our offense," Thompson said of the safety known for his aggressive nature. "For him, I know playing against us he's probably going to play like a wild man."
Redskins defensive backs coach Perry Fewell served as the Giants defensive coordinator last year.
“The scheme’s different but certainly he knows a lot of the players and can offer input as to their strengths, weaknesses and what they can offer," Redskins starting QB Kirk Cousins said. It’ll be helpful to gain his insight.”
Also helpful this week? Rest, in between cramming, that is.
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