Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Devin Thomas Shows Signs of Catching On

It was nice to see Devin Thomas still is on the roster.

I was beginning to wonder what had happened to Thomas, who opened training camp as the leader for the starting flanker position and then disappeared. He was a nonfactor in the first two preseason games and did a poor job on one route that contributed to Todd Collins's interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Meanwhile, fellow second-year wideout Malcolm Kelly has displayed the type of athleticism and play-making abilities that have led many in the organization to believe he could be a big-time contributor this season if his surgically repaired knee holds up.

With Kelly clearly taking a step forward in their position battle, Thomas, I believe, needed to show a little something against the Patriots. Fortunately for Thomas, he did.

Playing for Rock Cartwright, who was sidelined because of a groin injury, Thomas impressed as the Redskins' primary kick returner. He had a 26.3-yard average on three returns, showing a good burst each time he handled the ball.

As a senior at Michigan State, Thomas ranked 11th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 29.1-yard average. Cartwright is as dependable as they come in role, but Thomas could be a viable option there next season if he proves to coaches that he can be completely trusted to make good decisions.

Returning kicks seemed to help Thomas on offense. I thought his route running was much better against the Patriots than in the first two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers. He was aggressive yet under control in traffic and displayed some nice footwork in gaining about five or six extra yards after one catch.

"Catching the ball in traffic," Coach Jim Zorn said, "was excellent for Devin."

In his best performance of the preseason by far, Thomas had three receptions for 36 yards. He went after passes with the type of focus he has rarely displayed, and the coaching staff definitely was pleased to see him get it going.

Early in camp, several people in the organization told me they thought Thomas would win the starting flanker job because of his offseason improvement. Their assessment wasn't a knock on Kelly, who still was regaining form after offseason microfracture surgery. Thomas was just ahead at that time, they believed. I talked to some of the same people last night, and they're now higher on Kelly.

Regardless, both guys will play, and the coaching staff is counting on them to deliver. On Friday, Thomas finally provided signs he might be able to do just that.

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hall, Brennan Move on from Pats Game
Next: Marshall Wouldn't Seem to Be in Plans

Comments

first.

Posted by: 428Maverick | August 29, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"....Campbell looked better last night...."

Simple math:

209 yards X 16 games= 3444 yards

3444 is some where around where Campbell was last year when the season ended and the hate on him really began.

Will 3444 yards equal an extension and end the hate?

No.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Mason v. Betts v. Cartwright

Interesting roster situation here.

If you see the game again, watch how Mason explodes through a seam or follows his blockers.

Is his potential as a 'change of pace' back to rest Portis worth letting either Rock or Betts go?

Can't say.

That's why it's an interesting roster situation.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

moe,

he didn't play the whole game though.....

On a different note. many bloggers like to take what the players say about a player and believe it more than say a sportswriter. One example is Marko Mitchell. If that is the case, what does Smoots' praise of Colt mean?

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

kada

Posted by: The_Spear | August 29, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

But Moe, he only played a little over one half. 200 yard in one half, times 16 full games (32 halves) = 6,400 yards.

Now that's not going to happen either, but if you want to base it on last night's performance, 4,000 yards is achievable.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 29, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Betts has been so average I say let him go for a younger version of the same.

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 29, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Simple math:

209 yards X 16 games= 3444 yards


-----------------------------------

209 x 16 x 1.25= 4180

he didn't exactly play the whole game......

Posted by: cancunlizzard | August 29, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

209 yards X 16 games= 3444 yards

3444 is some where around where Campbell was last year when the season ended and the hate on him really began.

Will 3444 yards equal an extension and end the hate?

No.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:28 PM |

Does it count that 209 yards was in just over a half against patriots starters???
Jason should be fine, production-wise.
But as for the hate, who knows. People are crazy.

Posted by: AdamCr | August 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

1965skinsfan

"...he (Campbell) didn't play the whole game though..."


That's what I know.

He really was on pace for a 300 yard type passing game.

Simple Math, part 2:

300 yards X 16 games= 4800 yards

I doubt Campbell will toss 4800 yards.

But 3,900-4,300 is a rather decent number.

Will 4,000 yards end the hate on Campbell?

No.

It'll begin the love.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Two things about our defense. D. Hall is no Shawn Springs. Randy Moss pWned him last night. Our defense needs to get better.

Posted by: BMACattack | August 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"....Campbell looked better last night...."


Simple math:

209 yards X 16 games= 3444 yards

3444 is some where around where Campbell was last year when the season ended and the hate on him really began.

Will 3444 yards equal an extension and end the hate?

No.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

If we're going to play math games, shouldn't the math be:

209yd in 1 half x 2 x 16 games = 6888 yds

pro bowl, super bowl, HOF!

Posted by: frediefritz | August 29, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Smoot has seen more of colt than me so his opinion is interesting. But on a night where he had to get it done he threw a pick six and cost a potential field goal. You could argue that's 17 points. The throw to marko was nice but any qb with NFL aspirations should make that one regularly.

Posted by: AdamCr | August 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Will 3444 yards equal an extension and end the hate? No. Posted by: MistaMoe"

I don't know about ending the hate -- this is Washington DC, after all -- but 3444 would have put him 13th in the league, a few yards behind Romo and ahead of Matt Ryan.

That's up from 16th, where he actually finished with 3245 yards.

3444 is a playoff QB's total.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Mason v. Betts v. Cartwright

Interesting roster situation here.

If you see the game again, watch how Mason explodes through a seam or follows his blockers.

Is his potential as a 'change of pace' back to rest Portis worth letting either Rock or Betts go?

Can't say.

That's why it's an interesting roster situation.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I saw enough last night to hope that something happens here. I really liked the way MM lowered his head at the goal line and plowed into the end zone. And that was against the starters! No more argument about being against 3rd stringers. I think either Betts or Rock is in trouble. I tend to agree with 1965skinfan: "Betts has been so average I say let him go for a younger version of the same."

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 29, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: frediefritz | August 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Re; JC's yardage numbers.

Another sometimes useless stat. Stats are for those that don't or can't play the game. The endless drivel about this stat or that trying to validate a point, when the only thing that matters is how many W's you earn. Points matter more than yards to me.

I mentioned Smoots comments on Colt simply because so many value a players point of view more than others. Colt definitely looked like a gunslinger that was in over his head. For Fred to mention Favre though seems extreme.

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Returning kicks seemed to help Thomas on offense.

I thought the same thing, he seemed more into the game.

Mason makes this team. Portis/Betts/Mason
and I'd like to see Mason get more passes thrown his way....

Not getting too high, nor getting too low...defense needs a lot of work, offense needs to avoid the back to back to back 3 and outs, play calling seems better, I see progress, but keep that nose to the stone...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Finally they started throwing the ball down the field.
Let's keep it up.

Posted by: jmy999 | August 29, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

jmy999

"...they started throwing the ball down the field."

Zorn says he didn't call for the 'long ball' last year as the team lacked the blocking and big receivers to make it happen.

Also: perhaps Zorn re-adapting his playcalling to fit Campbell's strengths is also a sign that he is a good coach who deserves to finish out his contract.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's Mason vs Betts.... Betts isn't going anywhere, but Roc could be on the way out. Although if they keep 5 WR's, they may take a fliar and keep 4RBs... Soups has proven in College and as a Pro that he is a pretty good QB in the pocket... Hence our 6-2 start last year

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"....Campbell looked better last night...."


Simple math:

209 yards X 16 games= 3444 yards

3444 is some where around where Campbell was last year when the season ended and the hate on him really began.

Will 3444 yards equal an extension and end the hate?

No.
-------------------------------------------

209 yd. was only 1 half and against a good defense (Patriots first string). I say figure 280 yd. AT LEAST a game, and you are talking Aaron Rogers' numbers in '08 (4480 yd.), you are an idiot for thinking that his 1st half numbers would be for a whole game if he played a whole game. I may be wrong for I don't know the future, but neither do all of you Campbell hating morons. Give the kid a chance. After all Matt Hasselbeck took a little over 2 yr. in the same offense to get good (Campbell is just starting yr. 2). Slow your roles Campbell haters. I see anywhere between 3700-4200, 20+ TD and 9 Int. Not the greatest, but good enough for an extension (That's unless Snyder is involoved and let's Campbell go after a stellar season) and a playoff run with all the weapons we have. Some will have to step up, but I definitely see playoffs.

Posted by: pbmingie | August 29, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Campbell's performance was good, not great. Thats ALL we can say in preseason. Vanilla defenses vs vanilla offenses tell us little other than who the coaches want to see and how some 1-on-1 matchups work out.

* The 1st-team O-line did well in pass protection - good to see. Run blocking - not so much.

* Moe (et al) is right, Mason was getting a real good look with the 1st team last night. Zorn has already stated that Betts is going to get 3rd down reps so he isn't going anywhere. Cartwright? Thomas didn't hurt his cause with returns and has more pure speed. Rock v Mason may be what-to-watch based on the playing time and situations the coaches laid out.

* MMitchell showed some downfield blocking on Cooley's long gainer, another plus and TD he has in the bank.

* CRogers being out didn't let us see the 3-safety Cobra look Smoot is adapting to. If we didn't see it, noone else did either so thats ok. We showed vanilla D (see above) in coverages against the 1 or 2 passing Os in football...we're not as good as the Pats, we knew that.

Jurgenson Rules.

Posted by: gufinufi | August 29, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Playoffs? Are you kidding me. Playoffs?
I always wanted to do that.

Of course I want to see the skins in the playoffs. If the skins get off to a strong start, they need to finish strong. No more relying on someone else to lose to get in!

Last year the skins couldn't throw the ball down field, cause they couldn't protect Campbell, and they didn't have any deep threats except Randy Moss. Which makes me thinks Randle El's spot on the team might be in jeopardy.

Mason has got to be on the team, I thought he should have made it last year.

Posted by: ccwbambam | August 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If DT is decent at kick returns, why do we need to keep Rock? Cut him keep Aldridge or DOrsey and Mitchell!

Posted by: Veretax | August 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It was nice to see Thomas contibute on special teams...it doesn't look like he can cut it as a WR so it would be good if the team had something to show for its first pick in the draft. Still too much to pay for a special teamer but so be it.

I say it comes down to him and Dorsey for a special team spot on the squad. I love Dorsey's speed but this has to be considered a pretty fair fight.

Posted by: marksmen | August 29, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company