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Devin Thomas shows promise on kick returns

Buried on the depth chart since training camp, wide receiver Devin Thomas had no role on offense in the opening 13-7 victory over Dallas at FedEx Field.

But Thomas contributed on special teams, averaging 38 yards on two kickoff returns. His longest return covered 42 yards.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has repeatedly said Thomas must display more commitment to detail and play focused at all times. Thomas appeared to do that in the return game.

"Well, No. 1, we're always going to evaluate that," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We want to play our best players, and I thought Devin did one heck of a job getting us field position against an excellent football team.

"To take it out to the 38-yard line is very impressive. In fact, the kicker is the one that made the tackle on two of those returns. Pretty impressive for Devin."

Thomas is eager to do more for the Redskins.

"The more you do, the more positive things that you show, the more opportunities you get to get on the field," Mike Shanahan said. "Devin helped himself."

Are the Cowboys perennially the NFL's most overrated team? See what our panelists on The League think:

By Jason Reid  |  September 14, 2010; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Devin Thomas  
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Next: No rest for Trent Williams with Mario Williams arriving

Comments

I'm ALL for Devin being the #2 WR....

But, I don't see how it is pretty 'impressive' that the kicker tckled you both times..... (j/king)

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 14, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Where was Brandon Banks during the game? I never saw him on the field?

Posted by: williambyrlpricejr | September 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I keep waiting for this guy to break out as a WR.

Posted by: Devo2 | September 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Where was Brandon Banks during the game? I never saw him on the field?

Posted by: williambyrlpricejr | September 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

He was on the inactive list.

Posted by: guinness4health | September 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

He was inactive.

Posted by: RedskinsXXVI | September 14, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Thomas' returns should earn him some time at WR. If he had been the one running the fade routes in the endzone instead of the shorter Armstrong, we probably would have had the TD. I think that he has shown the commitment and hard work in the offseason to warrant more playing time. We could use his size, especially in the red zone.

Posted by: kaasmaster | September 14, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This is his last year to break out at receiver. There are no more excuses, Kelley is out of the way and on IR, Randel El is gone, and the aging Galloway should show his age before mid-season, he'll see more action in the next couple games. Maybe they just wanted to see how Anthony Armstrong would do against Dallas, maybe he'll get a chance against Houston???

Posted by: monk811 | September 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Not fair, 4th.


The kicker forced Thomas out of bounds on the 2nd return.


I was screaming "put a move on that motherf#&%*^! It's the g-d kicker!"

And that was on the first return. On the second one, I just went to the frige and grabbed another beer in disgust.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 14, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

DT seems to pass the "Eye Test" each time I see him with the ball in his hands - no matter how brief.

I am actually surprised that a guy his size looks so good returning kicks.

McNabb is so good at the corner fade in the end zone from the 15-in, I can see DT making a catch that Armstrong (even though I love Armstrong so far) didn't make.

Hell, I thought Galloway's height alone would have helped on either of those two plays.

I like DT and I remember thinking at first Kelly was going to be the stud...before he became the dud.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thomas had a quote after the game regarding the kicker. Apparently he was a safety in college and ran a 4.4 forty. Said he's not your average kicker in coverage. He played the part, because he closed off any angle Thomas had to get past him.

Posted by: psps23 | September 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Just remember that Shanahan is building towards more than just quick success.

Word on the street is that Devin is really spotty with his routes and playbook I've heard it reported that its so bad that coaches wouldn't have been sure he'd have run a fade on those routes;maybe he would have run slant or something else completely wrong.

Shanahan can't put somebody like that on the field no matter how gifted he is, it would ruin the culture of discipline and accountability he's trying to build.

That said, I hope he gets his sh!it together, I'd love to see what he can do.

Posted by: RomoLongballs | September 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Im gonna go out on the limb and say, if that Fade route was thrown to Devin, it would have been caught.

Devin is our biggest and strongest reciever. Idk why they won't give him more reps on Offense. I think he has potential to be a legit #2 Wide Out. If we can get him to be a legit #2 Wide Out, then we won't need to waste picks on Vincent Jackson...and we can wait till next years draft to get one of those big Wide Outs. If not, im am telling you. WE NEED V JACKSON. If we can get him, and have him ready week 4, vs. the Eagles, we will be set. But none of our guys outside of Tana and Cooley, was getting seperation.

Posted by: roccoskins | September 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I love how going into week 2, the Dallas media thinks the sky is falling.


A W E S O M E !!!!!

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Hell, I thought Galloway's height alone would have helped on either of those two plays.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse
-------------------------

Galloway is a whopping 5'11"... same as AA

Posted by: mattsoundworld | September 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Man, VJax is bad news. He's never caught more than 68 balls in a single season, we won't see him till after his 4 or 6 game suspension, and by the time next year is here and we can actually use him for a full year he'll be 28, which means he'll only be good for a couple more years anyway. They are asking too much for a player like that, screw him.

Posted by: monk811 | September 14, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Red...

In all fairness, the Dallas Kicker is a physical freak of nature. I think he out benches and out runs every LB on their roster, or some crazy stat like that.

So it's not like he was getting run down by Phil Dawson or Chip Lohmiller.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | September 14, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Hell, I thought Galloway's height alone would have helped on either of those two plays.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse
-------------------------

Galloway is a whopping 5'11"... same as AA

Posted by: mattsoundworld | September 14, 2010 10:49 AM |

Jesus, I was wayyyyy off. Maybe I need new specs. For some reason, I thought he was between 6-2 and 6-4.

My mistake. I guess that answers my question there.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

He's been slow,too slow, coming around. But,he's got a huge upside. They are going about it the right way. I just hope it's not going to be much longer. Other than Cooley and Santana we're pretty thin at WR.

Posted by: ridgely1 | September 14, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I heard that to about Dallas Kicker, he is faster then many of the DB's on their roster. He beat them in a foot race so bad that the team ban racing among team mates.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 14, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I hate to give a Cowboy credit, but I think the story of the two corner fades was just unbelievably good plays by the corner. Maybe AA should've caught the first one...maybe. I was surprised they went right back to it but if it worked we'd be calling it genius. Whether DT would've made the difference we'll never know. I do hope AA continues to be a big part of the offense. Love his story and think he seems like a great guy. He obviously loves football to stick with it through all of that and guys that love football, and have the game, are winners.

Posted by: MColeman51 | September 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Jesus, I was wayyyyy off. Maybe I need new specs. For some reason, I thought he was between 6-2 and 6-4.

My mistake. I guess that answers my question there.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse
-------------------------------

Yeah I think Thomas is our biggest receiver at 6'2" ish. I think a trips formation of Davis, Thomas, and Cooley would be the best solution down there, but what do I know about football?

Posted by: mattsoundworld | September 14, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I hate to give a Cowboy credit, but I think the story of the two corner fades was just unbelievably good plays by the corner. Maybe AA should've caught the first one...maybe. I was surprised they went right back to it but if it worked we'd be calling it genius.

***************

From my perspective, I would have loved to see the fade followed up with a back shoulder pass to AA near the front pylon rather than another fade. AA's lack of height would not really be an issue on that type of pattern.

Posted by: manlius1 | September 14, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The level of offensive ineptitude this first week is baffling especially since there were elite teams displaying this ineptitude. Half the games this first week saw neither team score over twenty, and twenty-one teams were under twenty points. Compared to opening week last year, that's a +4 change for games with both teams under 20 points and a +7 change for total teams under 20 points. Going back further a few years, the trend has been around four games where both teams score less than 20.

It may be just be another meaningless statistic that I'm throwing out, but I thought it was an interesting observation. Is this the beginning of a power shift in the league? Will this season be more competitive than in previous years? Several upsets this weekend suggests that.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | September 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 14, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Put his routes on a wrist band and have McNabb point to one before they break the huddle.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | September 14, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The level of offensive ineptitude this first week is baffling especially since there were elite teams displaying this ineptitude. Half the games this first week saw neither team score over twenty, and twenty-one teams were under twenty points. Compared to opening week last year, that's a +4 change for games with both teams under 20 points and a +7 change for total teams under 20 points. Going back further a few years, the trend has been around four games where both teams score less than 20.

It may be just be another meaningless statistic that I'm throwing out, but I thought it was an interesting observation. Is this the beginning of a power shift in the league? Will this season be more competitive than in previous years? Several upsets this weekend suggests that.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | September 14, 2010 11:06 AM |

It's definitely a sign of the times. Almost no one goes full-speed in practice like they did 20 years ago for fear of not being able to field a team in their opener. Pre-season is fraught with the watering down of offensive packages and even personnel as most top-tier talent is rested out of fear of injury. This creates rust and puts almost every offense behind the defenses in the first few weeks of the season.

That's why this win is so crucial. Dallas DOES have a stout defense but their offense was spotty and when the only thing going for them - the run game - was abandoned by the chosen one, Jason, the couldn't finish drives.

I am more encouraged by most people who pan the offensive continuity of the 'Skins - or a lack thereof.

The 'Skins penalties never killed them. They capitalized on a turnover for once - on the same play as a matter of fact - even though I may go to my grave without ever seeing CR22 actually catch a ball that hits him in the hands. They stuck with the run and converted 3rd downs when it really mattered to keep drives alive and the clock ticking. The O-line did it's job and I even saw CP26 almost knock himself out picking up a blitz that made me pump my fist and spill my Heineken a little.

Essentially, there was way more good than bad that happened for a low-scoring opener. Things will get better.....starting next week.

Dallas could well go 0-3 into their bye week. Is it possible that week 2 for Dallas is a 'must win'?

I'm thinking yes.

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 14, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Only a Redskins fan would get upset over a 42 yd return.


RE: I was screaming "put a move on that motherf#&%*^! It's the g-d kicker!"

And that was on the first return. On the second one, I just went to the frige and grabbed another beer in disgust.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 14, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: wd324 | September 14, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sunday was awesome, loved the all day tailgate, loved the atmosphere and I love my Skins

lotta work to do, but lookin' good so far

Posted by: retroskins14 | September 14, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

After the first fade to AA failed, the next play that was called was a different play, Donovan had the option to throw it to AA again because of the blitz.

Posted by: monk811 | September 14, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It feels like this team is the new George McFly in Back to the Future--the one that gets things right after KO'ing Biff. Instead of loser that gets it all wrong, we get it right while maintaining our players' personalities:

-D Hall, who's always been known for subpar tackling, gets his glory by stripping the ball and running for six.

-Dirty 30, who celebrates for everything, finally gives a performance worthy of such celebration.

-Strange penalties that crush all hopes of a comeback for us; this time it was on the 'Boys.

It was like Michael J Fox was on the sideline playing guitar to "Earth Angel," and after the win he realizes his family in the future is reappearing back in the picture. I've officially thought too much on this. Sorry.

Posted by: pgugino | September 14, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

On the fade routes to AA I could be mistaken , but I thought both times Armstrong turned the wrong way. He should face the sideline so that the defender cannot break up the pass without interfering. Also getting your feet down is easier when turning left in the left corner of the end-zone.

I still say Marko Mitchell is better than any receiver on this team except Moss.

Posted by: puttforever | September 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

yeah the kicker was a safety in college and he runs a 4.4 forty. i think shanahan was saying it's a good thing that DT was tackled twice by the kicker because... if youve made it to the kicking teams last line of defense (the kicker himself), you've probably already got a good return. and he had two good returns. he wasn't complimenting DT for not beating the kicker, lol.

Posted by: destewar | September 14, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, kickers running 4.4, and no Albert Haynesworth stories yet today, did we slip into another dimension? Are all Cowpie fans still gay in this dimension?

Posted by: monk811 | September 14, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game and Galloway could get no seperation from either Jenkins or Newman the whole night. The Redskins were using Armstrong and Roydell Williams in 3-receiver sets in the 2nd half. I'd like to see Shanahan give Thomas a chance in the 3-receiver sets and red zone. He's our legit tall, strong WR who could catch a fade in the end zone. The throwns to Armstrong are TD's with a taller WR who can jump.

Otherwise, start using both Davis and Cooley together in the red zone. It was sad to see McNabb throwing two fades to a guy who had never been in a regular season game our our No. 2 receiver last night.

Posted by: wizfan89 | September 14, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Run over the kicker and the other team will have trouble making kicks the rest of the game.

Posted by: jercha | September 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Thomas has more commitment than some starters (Sellers, Doughty) on each side of the ball. Coach what's up with this individual hoop jumper?

Posted by: CTaylor42 | September 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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