It should come as no surprise when a public figure, such as a professional athlete, expresses anything resembling a controversial opinion on their social media, that post can garner anything ranging from disagreement to outright vitriol. It does, however, come as a surprise when that dissent comes from someone in your professional orbit who is still affiliated with you, your work, and your profession in many ways.
That would be the case for Chris Thompson last night who got into a public back-and-forth spat with Redskins great and current NBC Sports Washington analyst, Brian Mitchell.
Thompson, in response to a Tweet from WUSA 9’s Darren Haynes, suggested in amid calls for Dwayne Haskins Jr.’ elevation to the starting quarterback position, that it would be highly out of the ordinary for a backup to take practice reps with the first-team.
B-Mitch disagreed with Thompson’s statement, asserting that in his experience backups did prepare with the first unit to prepare for when they would be called into action. The terse interaction (no doubt a function of a 280 character limit) concluded with Mitchell calling out this current iteration of the Redskins for not being as successful as they were in his time in the burgundy and gold.
Well, I played with 4 different head coaches and the backups did get reps. How else do you get them ready? Chris has played for basically Jay. So, I understand his sentiment. @RealBramW just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t wan it doesn’t happen. It does.— Brian Mitchell (@BMitchliveNBCS) September 27, 2019
We were prepared all the time. Maybe you all should try it. Coaches today still do it. Whatever works should be tried point blank. You can defend what hasn’t. That’s cool. We won consistently. Can you say the same?— Brian Mitchell (@BMitchliveNBCS) September 27, 2019
No, I don’t have all the answers. I just look at the consistent results. Point blank.— Brian Mitchell (@BMitchliveNBCS) September 27, 2019
The responses to Mitchell’s response (sighs heavily) were mixed, with many calling out the former Redskins back for the harshness of his comments, prompting some defensiveness in return:
I made comments just like he did. It’s not on me to worry abour sensitive dudes.— Brian Mitchell (@BMitchliveNBCS) September 27, 2019
Mitchell played 10 full seasons with the Redskins from 1990-1999, won a Super Bowl in the 1991-92 season, was named a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 1995 and was enshrined in the Redskins Ring Of Fame in 2017. He still holds a litany of Redskins and NFL records, in addition to being second on the NFL’s all-time list in all-purpose yards, and first all-time for combined yardage for a non-wide receiver.
Chris Thompson is now in his seventh season in Washington. The former fifth-round pick worked his way onto the 53-man roster from the practice squad and has developed into a vocal leader on the team, serving as a mentor to other younger and less experienced running backs on the squad.
While Mitchell is a very popular and highly regarded DC-sports personality not only for his work covering not just the Redskins but rather the entire Washington-area sports landscape, this is not the first time B-Mitch has put the team and current players on notice. The most notable instance of his willingness to get into a verbal scrap came back in 2008 when he feuded with another Redskins running back, Clinton Portis (who is now also a local Redskins media analyst) in an appearance on the John Thompson Show.
In a frustrating start to the season, this disagreement can be seen through the lens of many other arguments about the Redskins as a franchise. For a team that at one point was synonymous with winning, the divide between prior generations who were accustomed to success, and more recent iterations of the team that have struggled to attain that success serves as a profound divide between the Redskins of “then” and “now.”
Who do you side with in the argument between Brian Mitchell and Chris Thompson?
This poll is closed
B-Mitch is right: the Redskins should be prepared for all situations and the current generation of Redskins haven’t produced enough to criticize
Chris Thompson is right: things have changed since Mitchell’s time in the NFL.
Social media is a scourge and is proof of the folly of man.