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Devin Thomas channels Conan and waits for his moment

Much has been written and said about what Devin Thomas is not doing for the Washington Redskins - namely, playing wide receiver. But the third-year player from Michigan State - who is behind veterans Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams, as well as youngster Anthony Armstrong, on the Redskins' depth chart - is still contributing as a kick returner. He said Thursday he has no alternative but to focus on that task as he waits for time on offense.

"As a starting kick returner, that's a huge opportunity to make plays, and that's my role so I just take it in stride and keep running and try to hit it hard," he said.

Thomas is averaging 28.4 yards on 11 kickoff returns, an average that ranks sixth in the league among players who have at least seven returns through three games. Last year, Rock Cartwright averaged 22.3 yards as Washington's primary returner, an average that ranked 26th in the league among players with 20 or more returns.

Thomas also has looked close to breaking a kick for a score. His longest return is 42 yards, but he feels like a touchdown might be around the corner.

"It's close, man," Thomas said. "We watch film, and every time it's like, maybe just one cut here or just one block there. So we're just really close from breaking one and just keep getting that average higher and higher and then taking one to the house."

Thomas said his approach to returning kicks, which he did in college, is simple.

"Pretty much the approach I have for football, which is like a Conan mentality," Thomas said. "Just like a warrior. You go out there, you play hard. You know guys are coming to target you, and you got to take that. You got to bite the bullet and lower your shoulder and just get some extra yards."

All this, of course, doesn't mean it's easy for Thomas to watch other receivers get playing time. Nine Redskins have caught at least two passes this season, and Thomas has none.

"It's difficult, but just got to be a professional and just know that anything can happen and complaining and moaning about it is not going to make a difference," Thomas said. "Just keep my head up and just stay focused so when things do happen for me I can take the best approach and make the best out of it."

By Barry Svrluga  | September 30, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Devin Thomas  
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Next: Portis on why the Redskins can't convert on third down

Comments

Get him the damn ball!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Im thinking if we had kept grinding CP in the second half we win that Rams game. Portis play against Dallas sealed the deal for us in that game.

Posted by: Stu27 | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Stu27 | September 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Devin seems to have a mature attitude. I wish his practice habits would catch up.

Posted by: zyvo23 | September 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan said he was protecting the ball, it isn't inconceivable that he was actually told to just go down in a situation like that -- BY SHANAHAN!

Posted by: RedDMV | September 30, 2010 2:11 PM

So his reward was sitting on the bench then??

The reason this is a big deal is that the open field belly flop is Portis's signature play. It's the reason why a guy from the practice squad and an undrafted rookie will begin to take more and more carries from him.

I take NO satisfaction is CP's demise and I'm done talking about his belly flop. I'd rather talk about why putting a SPY on Vick is a recipe for failure. Just ask Steve Young or Zeke.

Posted by: Diesel44 | September 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Wait.... O'Brian or Barbarian?

...I'm thinkin' O'Brian.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

As a Redskins fan it's not hard to see that the current group of wide receivers could use a boost. Coverages are going to start rolling over to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley more and more the longer the season progresses and another viable receiver does not emerge. Thomas has been a class act, but I can't help but wonder when Shanahan will finally turn to the youngster and see what he can do. Hopefully he understands the offense and can contribute soon because the 'Skins could really use his size and speed in the passing attack.

Posted by: naraiford | September 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

O'Brian or Barbarian?

I'm thinking O'Brian.
__________________________

And thanks for making sense, Stu.

Look - I don't care who runs it, as long as it uses up the damn clock so we can win the game. We won't stop anyone, but we can slow them down. Running game lets that be a strategy.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 30, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Dude did a belly flop in the open field and you freaks want to defend him......"

Maybe because Lord and Savior Coach Shanahan had his back on the situation. Portis said that he was coached to do so, don't you idiots think that if he was lying or said the sh*t to deflect blame from himself Shanahan would have called him out on it?

I know most of you all want Portis ran out of town, but damn, at least try to gather and ASSESS the facts before you go making brainless claims!

Some of you KILL the fu_k outta me with your constant HATE and DISCONTENT for player X! Will spin, spin and spin some g-d more all the while totally ignoring the FACTS and losing all sense of rationality -- just to make yourselves appear right.

This was a non issue then, FOUR days later you're just coming off as flies slamming against the window with this bullsh*t. Let it go already, because as much as you wish it was something that'll back your arguments, it ain't. Get over it.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 30, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What about those who leave "upper deckers"?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:15 PM |

You mean the ones that sick out of the water like:

Loch Ness Monsters?

King Cobras?

Periscopes?

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM
------------

Nah, go to urbandictionary.com and type in upper decker.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

You mean the ones that sick out of the water like:
Loch Ness Monsters?
King Cobras?
Periscopes?

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM

Anyone ever had a Ghost Sh!t? That's freaky.

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

the thing about the Portis run that is more relevant is this.

A lot of NFL RBs take that one for 50 yards or even all the way. People talk about his lack of burst -- watch the replay and stop it as he's around the 35 yard line. Then ask yourself, what would the end of this run would look like if it our RB had good speed?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ghost poops aren't freaky. They're awesome. Gotta love not needing TP after a poo.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas channels Conan and waits for his moment.

It's enough to make a growed man break down and weep and sob uncontrollably. The Skins drafted Thomas and Kelly and the Eagles drafted Jax and Max.

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Wait.... O'Brian or Barbarian?

...I'm thinkin' O'Brian.

Posted by: DikShuttle

I was thinking the same thing. Guy has talent that everyone fawns over, gets a major gig and loses it. Sound like O'Brien to me.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

diesel/hess, answer me this, hypothetically, lets say that portis ran for an additional 5 more yards....held onto the ball, didn't fumble...please explain to me how this would have changed the FINAL OUTCOME of the game....or would it have not mattered in the least...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Ghost poops aren't freaky. They're awesome. Gotta love not needing TP after a poo.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:39 PM

But to stand up...and turn around to admire your accomplishment...and nothings there...thats freaky...it's like wtf!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

True story ...

Once dated a woman who said Conan O'Brien was 'her son'. Got tix to a show, but she was too busy with work to go to NYC (from SF area) at the time. Turned out it was the Triumph interviews Star Wars show. Beyond hysterical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugk37TvIR8E

As for a woman who thinks Conan is her son ... let's just say that one year with the hot crazy one was a lot of fun.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

What about those who leave "upper deckers"?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Those who leave upper deckers = 'Sick Individual' NERDS!

Those who leave upper deckers in MY toilet = Dead Meat (that sh*t ain't funny when you are the one that has to clean it up)

LMAO, did someone think an upper decker was just poop that rose above the water? That's just silly.

Posted by: monk811 | September 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You mean the ones that sick out of the water like:

Loch Ness Monsters?

King Cobras?

Periscopes?

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM |

Science has struggled mightily to explain why some float and some sink to the bottom. Mine sink and it is touch-and-go after every dump to see if there is enough free outflow to prevent a backup and overflow. And who ever said taking a dump was boring?

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Main needs moving forward:
1.NT
2.Center
3.Guard
4.Running game
5.Pass coverage (could be #1-4 though)
Thoughts?

Posted by: skinswillwin | September 30, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

CP's new nickname in my circle of friends is now "The Armadillo".

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

diesel/hess, answer me this, hypothetically, lets say that portis ran for an additional 5 more yards....held onto the ball, didn't fumble...please explain to me how this would have changed the FINAL OUTCOME of the game....or would it have not mattered in the least...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 30, 2010 2:41 PM
-------------------------------------------
Presumably CP would have kept on playing instead of getting benched, which would mean there would have been better pass blocking on at least two pass plays where Torain matadored the defender. Woulda. Shoulda. Coulda. We'll never know the answer to that question, which is the same uncharted water everyone sails in when they don't give it their all. I go back to what Gerald Riggs used to say, "You've got to finish the play".

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 30, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Main needs moving forward:
1.NT
2.Center
3.Guard
4.Running game
5.Pass coverage (could be #1-4 though)
Thoughts?

Posted by: skinswillwin | September 30, 2010 2:50 PM |

Dude - you left out WR. See

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 2:40 PM |

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Please start Devin Thomas at receiver. Catch the short stuff and run.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, my bedroom was across the hall from one of the bathrooms. When I was home alone and had to poo I'd often turn my tv sideways (facing the bathroom) and drag my nintendo into the hallway and play videogames while dropping a deuce.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

diesel/hess, answer me this, hypothetically, lets say that portis ran for an additional 5 more yards....held onto the ball, didn't fumble...please explain to me how this would have changed the FINAL OUTCOME of the game....or would it have not mattered in the least...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 30, 2010 2:41 PM
-------------------------------------------
Presumably CP would have kept on playing instead of getting benched, which would mean there would have been better pass blocking on at least two pass plays where Torain matadored the defender. Woulda. Shoulda. Coulda. We'll never know the answer to that question, which is the same uncharted water everyone sails in when they don't give it their all. I go back to what Gerald Riggs used to say, "You've got to finish the play".

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 30, 2010 2:54 PM

Do you think it sends any type of message to the other team as well...especially their defense?

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

True story ...

Once dated a woman who said Conan O'Brien was 'her son'. Got tix to a show, but she was too busy with work to go to NYC (from SF area) at the time. Turned out it was the Triumph interviews Star Wars show. Beyond hysterical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugk37TvIR8E

As for a woman who thinks Conan is her son ... let's just say that one year with the hot crazy one was a lot of fun.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2010 2:48 PM
------------------------------------------
Zeke, that either makes you a lot older than I thought you were or cougar bait. Which is it?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedDMV | September 30, 2010 2:34 PM |

Dude - I see your posts sinking to the bottom and impeding outflow.

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Conan.....what is best in life?"

(Conan)"Crush all enemies...see them fall before you....and hear the lamentation of the women."

Top 5 all-time movie lines just below the Alec Baldwin scene in "Glengary Glenross".

BOOK IT

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Pretty much the approach I have for football, which is like a Conan mentality," Thomas said. "Just like a warrior.

By Barry Svrluga | September 30, 2010; 2:20 PM ET

Devin Thomas as a 'Warrior' = GAYEST Warrior EVER!

Posted by: monk811 | September 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd just go in my pants, PmcP.

In fact.... I just did.

Oh, wait - that smell is just all the CPo hate...

sukkards.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Monk...so you been Upper Deckered? That sucks!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Please start Devin Thomas at receiver. Catch the short stuff and run.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

co-sign. He scored his first TD that way from something like 20 yards out.

Posted by: RomoLongballs | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Red,

I get on Portis's case at times too, but in this case I do think this issue is overblown...and given that what happened appears obvious to me, I have no idea why.

Portis had no feeling in that arm, which has been hurt since week 1. When he was surrounded by players, he went down because he had no confidence he could keep the ball since he couldn't feel it. Shanahan, after the Moss fumble, probably emphasized ball security, which got Portis thinking. Then, when Shanahan asked what happened and Portis explained, Shanahan rightfully got Torain in the game (if he can't feel one arm/hand, it is a liability).

This explains the drop to the turf and why Torain took over the carries.

I don't really have an issue with any of it, save I wish Portis had told coaches of the extent of his arm/hand issues - if it's numb, they need to know.

The truth is, when things go bad we invent stuff to complain about here. This team is doing auditions this year, no matter what they say about "winning now" publicly. They know they have holes to fill, and they are finding out who is gonna stay, who can be traded, and who is getting the boot.

They'll have better personnel to fit what they want to do next year. This year, they have what they have, plus whatever stop-gaps they have managed to bring in on the cheap.

Seems pretty obvious to me....

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | September 30, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas as a 'Warrior' = GAYEST Warrior EVER!

Posted by: monk811 | September 30, 2010 2:58 PM

Warriors don't wear makeup...at least not anymore.

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Monk...so you been Upper Deckered? That sucks!

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 3:00 PM
-----------

Leaving an upper decker is something that is on my bucket-list.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Anybody see the guy being cast for the new Conan movie? WACKKKKK!!!!!!!

Posted by: ga8085 | September 30, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's just win Sunday. Heavy doses of Torain, Cooley, Moss, Thomas and Davis.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Conan.....what is best in life?"

(Conan)"Crush all enemies...see them fall before you....and hear the lamentation of the women."

Top 5 all-time movie lines just below the Alec Baldwin scene in "Glengary Glenross".

BOOK IT

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 2:57 PM |

Can't beat:

Ace Ventura: [bending over and talking from his behind] Excuse me. I'd like to "ass" you a few questions.

Posted by: EncinoMan | September 30, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Warriors don't wear makeup...at least not anymore.

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 3:03 PM |
------------

What about Hawk and Animal, the Road Warriors!!!!!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we just start him in the slot. Wes Welker makes a living catching 4-5 yard passes and turning them into 15 yard gains.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Leading up to the Rams' game, Ryan Torain was still on the practice squad and began taking reps with the first-team offense"


This continues a trend.

It seems the team is preparing for upcoming games and building for tomorrow all at the same time.

We want CP to excel, but hey, this might be his last year as a redskin.

So if Torain or Williams shows promise behind the offensive line we are also tweakin', that's not just good for now.

It's even better for tomorrow.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | September 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Leaving an upper decker is something that is on my bucket-list.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 3:03 PM

On that note...double beeps...

Posted by: PlayAction | September 30, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Can we please just get him into a few snaps... this is ridiculous... George W. Shanahan is more hard headed than he is intelligent...

Posted by: ajax683 | September 30, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Torain= Shanahans next no name back to rush for 1300 yds...

money in the bank

Posted by: nflorida1 | September 30, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

iH8dallas

"Why don't we just start him in the slot. Wes Welker makes a living catching 4-5 yard passes and turning them into 15 yard gains."


Send this post to Kyle Shanahan.

His defenders in this forum are pleased with the mid-third quarter missed deep passes he dials up that have resulted in either the occasional catch or, most often, 2nd and long, 3rd and 7, then punt.

It seems to this blogga that Mighty Mike, jr. is drawing up plays like he still has A Johnson at the receiving end of plays started by M Schaub.

You'd think a team with older, slower, and developing type receivers would feature mid-range, dink and dunk ball-control passing like what we saw out of the rams Sunday.

We have CC, SMoss, FDavis, CPortis to work the middle of the field out of the slot/backfield.

But in our offense, the running back doesn't run--he pass blocks--and the fullback doesn't block--he catches passes out of the backfield.

The image of older J Galloway and double-covered SMoss just missing deep passes is what we remember.

Again: the best defense for a porous one is an offense that controls the ball with old skool West Coast Offense ball control passing.

Posted by: gimmesummoe | September 30, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Torain= Shanahans next no name back to run for 1300 yds.

money in the bank

Posted by: nflorida1 | September 30, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

best movie line ever? Jack Nicholson in the only Batman movie that mattered

" wing freak terrorizes the city...ahhh, wait til they get a load of me

option b
this town needs an entima!!

Posted by: nflorida1 | September 30, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse


bean,

as a team we lost the game to the rams and another 5 yds wouldn't had made a difference. If CP kept running for a TD we probably lose the game as a team.

Posted by: hessone | September 30, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

shanahan is way overrated he has a o-lineman(litchensteiger)a person who was out of the league last yr and was a back-up when he was in the league starting NO ONE signed him last year after being cut because he is weak at the point of attack and now you have 2 so-called white weaklings one old rabach and the other younger. I mentioned this weeks ago shanahan want's 3-4 so-called white o-linemen on the team same as he had with terrell davis in 1997-1998 he does not realize that the line men now are bigger and this team will pay for his stupidity. d. thomas needs to play but I don't expect mike shangralai to change according to him galloway and r. williams are doing great in practice that has to count for something right?

Posted by: wathu19 | September 30, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Geez... gimme a break already. Every week it's a feature article on the player who's at the bottom of the depth chart. It's like waiting for Franco to die all over again.

Posted by: Redskinrex | September 30, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Am not giving up on Thomas and Kelly just yet. Dallas had miles Austin on the bench for 3 Years, before he broke out. Not saying that Kelly or thomas is Austin, but I hope shannahan just give them a real try on game time to see what they can do. I believe that Donavan can make a star out of one of these guys let's just hope.

Posted by: Jmel1 | September 30, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's just win Sunday. Heavy doses of Torain, Cooley, Moss, Thomas and Davis.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 3:04 PM |

I bet the Eagles Defense is having a lot of trouble staying awake while watching film of the Redskins and worrying about "Heavy doses of Torain."

We're gonna get killed.

Torain "The Pain"... Wait, is his first name really Ryan? Yes, it is. Just looked it up. Wow. We're dead. Ryan? That's so cute. Oh, wow, we're done.

I'd take a flopping Portis over Torain. And that aint saying much. I wish we had Betts and Cartwright back.

That's right, Ladell and ROCK. Not Ryan. ROCK.

It makes it feel so much better when a guy misses his easy block and you can yell, "C'mon, Rock!"

"C'mon, Ryan!" sounds like any suburban, White dad yelling at his son to hurry to the minivan.

We're cooked.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 1, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Why don't we just start him in the slot. Wes Welker makes a living catching 4-5 yard passes and turning them into 15 yard gains.

Posted by: iH8dallas | September 30, 2010 3:08 PM

Actually, you're on to something. Maybe we can trade our whole team away for Wes Welker and Randy Moss. I mean, we'd have to throw in future draft picks, too, but it could be done.

Wes Welker is good. Really good. But, if you put him on our sh!tty team, he's another Randle El. We don't have THAT Moss that keeps safeties happy with 15 yard gains.

Remember Randle El was good. Until he got here. "The Midget Receiving Corps." Another reason Jason Campbell is riding the pine in Oakland. "Thanks, Guys!"

By the way, Santana, what exactly did you DO with that human growth hormone? Water your plants with it?

I'm still amazed that we suck so badly that the Rams put 30 on us. At least we used to have a good Defense, but Dumb Hasbeen put an end to that. Makes you think there might have been a reason he went from Head Coach of the Saints to Head Coach of the Tuskaloosa Tomahawks.

I hate Philly. But, we're gonna get Dee-Stroid.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 1, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Torain= Shanahans next no name back to rush for 1300 yds...

money in the bank

Posted by: nflorida1 | September 30, 2010 3:21 PM

You're Crazy.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 1, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse

DT is the biggest, strongest, craziest WR we have and he rides the bench???? Shanahan needs to let some things go and put this kid on the field, and target him! Give him and chance (2 games as a starter) and see what he does. The guy is hungry and the way he is returning kicks......well a small corner woukld just get dealt with on the outside.

Posted by: dwilcox2 | October 1, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

dang!!! PUT HIM NEXT TO MOSS AND IN RED ZONE CONVERSIONS!!! what do we have to lose at this point???!!!

Galloway? Williams (this sucker dropped 3 balls last Sunday againts the hapless Rams)

Moss, DT, Armstrong and Cooley and heck put Davis too

the Skins need to put up minimum 27 points to have a chance of winning their next 3 games

HTTR

Posted by: datruth21 | October 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Well.... I guess that's a nice consolation prize type story line for Thomas to pursue because he will NEVER be even a second string NFL wide receiver. 3 years of hopes, pleadings and expectations for Thomas and Kelly being good NFL wideouts have proven to be a TOTAL BUST. It's toast, folks; forget about those 2 being decent pass catchers. Try Canada guys: (

Posted by: pd2710 | October 2, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

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