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Posted at 6:56 PM ET, 12/ 5/2010

Devin Thomas makes mark for Giants

By Rick Maese

When it was all over -- when the Giants had easily defeated Washington 31-7 and effectively ended the Redskins' playoffs hopes -- Devin Thomas sought out Mike Shanahan, the man who fired Thomas from his first job not long ago.

"I tried to find him," said Thomas, who played his first game with the Giants on Sunday since New York claimed him off waivers nearly two weeks ago, "but he snuck out of there so fast."

And what would Thomas have said?

"I just wanted to say, 'Thank you. Thank you for everything,'" said Thomas, who was released by the Redskins in October. "I feel like our relationship -- even though people say I was in the doghouse -- I feel like he still coached me up and tried to make me a better player and make me the best that I could be. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that there. It took a lot of growing up."

Thomas played his most substantial game since the Redskins released him, making his mark on special teams and flustering the Redskins at times. Lining up at gunner, Thomas made a big tackle on Terrence Austin on the game's second kickoff. At the start of the second quarter, Thomas raced downfield and was able to down a Giants' punt on the Washington 5-yard line. On a punt return in the fourth quarter, he shoved Brandon Banks out of bounds at the Redskins' 14-yard line. But the biggest play for Thomas was the partially-blocked punt in the fourth quarter.

With the Redskins backed up to their own nine-yard line, Thomas said he knew Washington punter Hunter Smith was dealing with a short field.

"I felt like all game I was kind of having strength leverage over Kareem [Moore], getting him on his heels," Thomas said. "So when I seen the opportunity, I pushed him back and was able to rip. When I looked, I seen the foot of the punter, so I thought, 'Let me get this arm up.' And I got a piece of the ball."

The punt traveled only eight yards and the Giants took over on the Redskins' 13-yard line, eventually netting a field goal out of it.

For Thomas, there were slight pangs of revenge -- or perhaps redemption, he said -- attached to Sunday's performance.

"Did I make my point? Yeah, I guess so," he said. "To do it against them, make them look at film and say, 'Man, why did we let him go?' That's something I was definitely looking forward to."

Shanahan had very little to say about Thomas after the game.

"I didn't get a chacne to really see him," he said. "I understand he had the blocked punt. That's some good effort. Besides that, I really didn't [see him]."

Though the Giants were without receivers Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks, Thomas was not involved in the New York passing game. All in all, he said he enjoyed playing against his former team and seeing his former teammates.

"I was looking forward to every opportunity I had to touch that field today. I know the personnel there like the back of my hand," he said. "So just to go against the guys I practiced with for three years, it was fun to take that challenge."

Thomas started the season returning kicks in Washington but New York used him in a gunner role on special teams. He said he'd practiced at gunner in both Washington and Carolina, who initially claimed him off waivers in October before parting ways with him last month, but Thomas never played the role during an actual game until Sunday. He says it helped that he was so familiar with Banks.

"We knew how dangerous he is," he said. "He's quick and one thing about him, if he stops -- he can go. He's got the quick zero to 60. We all stressed the fact of not allowing him to have a big day."

Though he didn't have a chance to chat with Shanahan after the game, Thomas said he was chatting with Washington players before, during and after the game.

"They're my boys," he said. "They're like, 'DT, you shoulda never left. They should never have gotten rid of you' and stuff. I was hearing a lot of that. They're still my boys."

By Rick Maese  | December 5, 2010; 6:56 PM ET
Categories:  Devin Thomas  
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Next: Redskins TE coach Embree departs for Colorado

Comments

Guh. Can't believe we're staring at 5-11 and BEHIND the Cowboys in the East when this is all over.

Although, at this point I'll take the better draft pick.

And how does SD lose to Oakland? The answer is simple: Norv is a terrible, terrible leader of men.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

(Wasn't Hagan in our camp?)


Posted by: MistaMoe | December 5, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I think you're thinking about the UVA guy, not this one who's the underwhelmer from Arizona state. Of course, we made him look like the stud he was out west.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 5, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

And how does SD lose to Oakland?


Some guy named Jason Campbell played quite well if you want to know.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 5, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"They're still my boys". Obviously, that's why they rolled over for you.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 5, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

theCork

So, how are the offseason acquisitions by the new group of Geniuses going?

Good post and excellent question.

Mike Shanahan came into town and chose to:

--shed a lot of older players

--replace them with players not that much younger

--change the defensive scheme

This was all done in the name of 'win-now'.

And we haven't won-now and won't win later.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry about Dallas. Weren't they supposed to go to the SB this year?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Not that anyone here gives a jot what I think but I'm with the coach. The Redskins are under adult supervision now and the quicker the players learn this the better or, they can just go. Maybe AH was sick, maybe he wasn't and just seeing how much he can get away with. The answer in any event is no practice, no game.

The coaches didn't turn the ball over 6 times.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 5, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Are we at the point where firing Haslett is the thing to do? Our D went from respectable to bottom 10 in one year...turnovers be f'cked cuz we ain't getting them anymore either.

Haslett inherited the tools but can't get it done.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | December 5, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

DT for what is worth is nothing more than anoother horrible draft pick from the Vinnie/Zorn era. We'll never regret cutting him. MK you're next.

Posted by: jmeaicp | December 5, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

A'ight...let's make our holiday wish list for next year's team. Depth all over the oline, a running back (although I like james davis), a FS, a NT, 2 experienced WR's from FA, a CB, depth at LB...pretty much everything on offense and defense except TE, QB, and SS.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | December 5, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins are my team but they stink and I am sick an tired of hearing how they played with effort. When you watch other teams play like the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Steelers a novice can see those teams players have a higher intensity level ans a greater sense of urgency... The Redskins offensively am defensively look unorganized so my question is what were the OTA's for and what did they accomplish? Shanahan should not be given a green light when it comes to personnel decisions...There is no way in the world Devin Thomas should have been cut an the team gets nothing in return whatever he wasn't doing could be said about the rest of these receivers.

Posted by: BeatDontStop | December 5, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The Boswell article is very interesting.

Do any of you see Al getting cut this week?

It's not like we have so many Pro-Bowlers that we can't realistically speculate about who the 3 Boswell talked to may be.

Pick any 3 from this list and it's clear the team does not want AH around.

McNabb
D. Hall
Cooley
Orakpo
Fletcher
Santana
Portis
J. Brown
H. Smith


This will obviously blow up this week in the media.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | December 6, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

SHanny has taken a team that was pathetic and made it even more pathetic. Haslett and changing the defense, what a great decision. Where is his proclaimed running game ? Oh yeah, it's his sons offense which doesn't run very well. Very poor decisions by a coach whose ego overcomes any coaching ability.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | December 6, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

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