Friday, June 12, 2009

Chiming in on Donald Thomas

The Knight Who Says Ni! sent the following to me. I have a particular place in my heart for Donald Thomas, because he's the only person I've ever known to get so hungry he assaulted a fast food worker because his chicken wings were taking too long.

"Donald Thomas"

RG Donald Thomas 6-4 310 is a small school prospect (UConn) who is physically gifted. He lacks experience but he was good enough to win the starting job last year early on in training camp and secure the opening day starting RG spot. He was a 08 6th round pick.

This idea that Thomas has a serious injury history is premature. He had his foot stepped on in the first game against the Jets, and he broke his foot. That's a freak injury.

Tearing his pectoral muscle lifting weights and being on the mend for a month is not season or career ending. The media got out of control on this. Can we mellow out on this? LOL

Obviously the trifecta is not going to push Thomas beyond what he can do now. With almost 2 months before training camp, that's a significant amount of time for him to rehab and condition himself to be ready for camp.

Thomas is the front runner for the starting RG spot. The trifecta thinks he's the guy and the defense agrees. Ferguson and Holliday said last year they noticed him right away. Big, strong guy who is 'heavy' as in hard to move. NT? LOL

Maybe Thomas' lack of experience has him over doing it a little bit. Maybe his feet aren't in the right place enough to avoid injury. Maybe he's trying to do too much in the weight room because of the opportunity before him.

He needs to get his body right and get back to playing and learning football. If he can do that within the next few months, we might have a future pro bowl guard. Former Cowboys VP of player personnel, well respected scout and NFL draft pundit Gil Brandt said Thomas has that kind of ability. Experience is his only con.

Thomas went from project to top RG prospect within a month of training camp last year. I remember hearing his name with the first team early on and he never looked back. Every report you read about him as a pro prospect says he has a big upside but needs time to develop. Well he showed it from day one and he's still in the mix this year.

Let it play out and see where he is at the end of August. If he's hurt again, maybe there is an issue with him and injuries, but we're not there yet so let's wait and see.

UConn is known more for it's women's basketball than anything but they have become quite a force in the Big East when it comes to football. As a Big East guy, I'm actually in the small group of Dolfans who actually knew who Donald Thomas was before he got drafted by the Dolphins. He really is THAT good at run blocking. Absolute bulldozer when in open space. We saw a huge drop off in Game 1 last year when he came out of the game. Pennington suddenly became a hackey-sack for the Jets defense. Even with a broken foot, Thomas was keeping some guys named Shaun Ellis and Kris Jenkins in check.

I expect Thomas to come back and show us 32 times what he showed us in 2008.


  1. good write up, but I still want to know some info on his injury progresion. My biggest concern is when he is coming back, although if he actually can be a starter in the NFL still lurks in my mind. I won't stay blindly faithful to someone I saw and liked for 4 and 1/2 games. That brings up part of my problem with him, I like to form a large part of my opinion of players based on what I see them do during games. Not what media and coaches tell me to think of players. I just haven't seen enough of him to say he would have won the starting spot even without the injury. For all I know this year Murphy could have beaten him out for the spot in training camp. I'm not down on him and he is the player I would like to have win the spot by the start of the season. I'm just not that sure yet
    Let's see how it plays out by the end of August

  2. Tin, I don't get the 32 times what he showed us in 2008.  :-E

  3. but he did win the starting job last year without you having seen him in ANY games.  They made that decision early on. 
    Your logic is still sound though, I suscribe to that line of thinking myself, but when I can't see what's going on, as in OTAs, I assume the Coach's eyes are the next best thing, and they think he's god's gift to the o-line, and that's coming from Sparano who is an O-line coach.

  4. he played one half in 2008.  He needs to play 32 halves in 2009.  ;)

  5. I thought you said you were lousy at maths? lol

    "- The usual suspets are not practicing: David Martin (hernia), Donald Thomas (pectoral injury), Andy Allenman (back).
    But Thomas is working with a blocking sled, moving it up and down the sideline. An encouraging sign."

  7. It looks like the two worst injuries, Camarillo and Thomas, may be clearing faster than we dared hope. Clearly neither are back to full strength, but both are doing things I didn't expect them to be doing in mid June  based on the information on their injuries.

  8. Ronnie Brown was sweating profusely and one commenter had him having swine flu! :-D

  9. I'm sold on 2 guys on this offensive line Long and Carey that's it.  At this time until they prove otherwise everyone else is either injury prone or recovering from injuries.  Smiley has played what 1/2 year in 2 years ? Thomas hasn't made it through 1/2 of a game yet, and no practise this year ?  Grove can't keep himself on the field for a whole season.  Way to many questions for me with this group.
    If these guys stay on the field the AFC East is in deep doo doo.  If not no amount of DBs or WRs can make up for that. :'(

  10. no, I said I can DO math, but not EXPLAIN/SHOW MY WORK.

  11. That swine flu comment was me, silly.
    For the record, it turned out Ronnie just wasn't wearing an undershirt, whereas everyone else was, so their jerseys looked white while his looked grey due to his skin showing through.  He was doing all the drills, and probably doesn't have the swine flu.  I'm posting the video right now (actually it'll take a while to upload, so give it 20 minutes)

  12. good argument, but isn't that the point - that they heal and stayed healthy?  I'm sure that is each player's personal goal for the season.
    As for Smiley, the guy played 16, 16, 16, 8, and 12 games in his career.  He broke his leg in the 12th game last year and the 8 game season was due to a bad shoulder injury that he's now had surgery to fix.  I wouldn't classify him as the same as Grove, who was constantly banged up, although it's been said that Oakland's aggressive practices have contributed over the years to a lot of unnecessary injuries.  Maybe one of his teammates stabbed him in the parking lot...

  13. Tin, William(friend of mine) flies down to watch training camp each year. I ususally go but it looks doubtful that I will make it this year after missing last year as well. William would call to tell me that this Donald Thomas dude is hurting people. When he made contact it was like a gun going off... I like Gil Brandt's take in that he plays heavy(hard to move). We have had too many people over the last few years that would get thrown around by physcial defenders. I don't get carried away that he's had a couple of injuries unless we are still mentioning it in 2010,2011, etc.

  14. The Knight who says Ni!June 12, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    Oh duh!  :-E

  15. That'll teach me to scan read! Now I know there was sarcasm attached!

  16. I agree with everything up there Fang. I like the guy's in the interior, but they need to prove they can stay healthy. I'm very uncertain at this moment. On paper they seem great, let's see if it can translate to Sunday's

  17. ...I like our starting OL ...but they play a very rough game against some very tough people ...injuries are a fact of life as much as I like our starters, I don't like our back-ups ...and we WILL see them as starters at some point this year.
    ,,,what I want is outright competition at every OL position for the starting assignment WHEN a starter gets hurt, his replacement is just as damn good as he was ...or close enough that only the OL coach knows the diff ...our bu's should be able to start on most other teams ...and of course we don't have that ...not even close ...probably no other team does either but our seconds are truly seconds ...when Thomas or Grove or Long or Carey go down, their is a SIZEABLE drop-off in playing ability.

  18. Tin I'm sorry I was unable to keep up the blog.  When my wife gets home it's bye bye computer for me, I get kicked off so she can play her games.  Imagine that the Dolphins are prempted for computer games.  I'm trying to figure a way to get around her on that one.  I already told her not to interupt my porn viewing, so what happens !! I lose the Dolphin blogs instead.  I only wish I were as lucky as you.  Take her to a circus and be done with it. ;)
    OK now that I'm done lying about her I'll tell the truth.  I couldn't have a more commited and loving person than she is.  I'm one lucky dog to be honest, she has put up with my crap for over 30 years, and I 'm sure that hasn't been easy for her.  You guys know what a jerk I can be at times, and she goes through this every day.  Damn I think i'll divorce myself.  :'(
    Looking forword to the next blog.

  19. Fang, I thought you were describing me and my wife up there for a second. 
    In know exactly what you mean.