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Thomas, Kelly: 'Almost Like We're Same Person'

Second-year wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have been linked since the first day of the 2008 draft.

The Redskins selected Thomas and Kelly with two of their three second-round picks (pass-catching tight end Fred Davis also was chosen in that round), and the wideouts' names often were mentioned together during their disappointing rookie seasons.

"You know what's crazy?" Kelly asked the other day. "I don't have a newspaper, and I don't get a newspaper, but every time somebody asks something about me, they never say my name by myself. It's always, 'You and Devin.' It's almost like we're the same person."


As he spoke, I got the sense Kelly was a little irritated that media members tend to evaluate him and Thomas as a package. Some veterans privately criticized Thomas last season for his poor work ethic and lack of maturity. From his first day at Redskins Park, however, Kelly "got it," many in the organization said. Knee problems held him back.

Thomas has exhibited improved focus on an off the field since the 2008 season ended. He began camp slightly ahead of Kelly in the competition to be Washington's starting flanker. Thomas had an early lead in the key position battle, in part, because Kelly spent the offseason recovering from microfracture knee surgery.

Thomas started the preseason opener and had one reception for 12 yards. The sure-handed Kelly had three catches for 25 yards and exhibited the type of fluidity and athleticism that has stirred excitement in the organization about his big-play potential. The race to line up opposite top wideout Santana Moss is on now.

"It was good to just get it going again, and it's really good to get my homeboy, Malcolm, out there," Thomas said. "He was making plays."

Although Thomas and Kelly are competing to start, "it's not like people think," Thomas said. "I want to move the chains and put points on the board. I want to win games, so anybody that's going to do that, then that's what we need. Malcolm's going to do it, I'm going to do it and Fred's going to do it. Anybody that's going to do it, we need out there on the field."

During his rehabilitation after surgery, Kelly focused on areas where he could improve and developed a plan to make it happen, he said. "My route running, that's the biggest thing," Kelly said. "Coach [Jim] Zorn gets on me about my route running, and I know I have a long way to go.

"I can jump up and catch the ball. I can catch the ball wherever it is. But the route running, that's one part of my game I really need work on. That's one thing I'm going to work on in practice every day. Hopefully, with both of us [Kelly and Thomas] working hard, the talk about us will be a little different this year."

Said Thomas: "You need to come up with a nickname for us."

"I didn't say that," Kelly said.

By Jason Reid  |  August 16, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

Thirst

Posted by: Markin21132 | August 16, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

KELLY looked like a major-league receiver. Unfortunately, I was focusing on the O-line and didn't really pay any attention to THOMAS' play. Maybe next time. But MAC definitely caught my eye. I sure noticed DAVIS, TRYON and BARNES though. Maybe the REDSKINS staff should concentrate on FCS, Div.s II and III, teams more and scout the UNIVERSITY of MARYLAND's team a little less. GREG TOLER, LAWRENCE SIDBURY JR., DON CAREY examples in this years draft.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 16, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Good post JReid.

I think that if Malcolm stays healthy, he will ultimately be more of a weapon than Devin, particularly for TD's. However, that is a huge IF. And Devin is probably a little more reliable right now, especially physically.

It sure would be nice to see both these guys mature and eventually become the #'s 1 and 2 for years to come...

Posted by: hender_22 | August 16, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

And people looked at me weird when I said Kelly was going to be the superior receiver.

Posted by: Semvechkin | August 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

nicknames...huh??

Does he REALLY want to open up the RI Blog to that??

Posted by: cej75024 | August 16, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Barnes will be fine. Give me a break it was the first preseason game people. If i remember right london fletcher got TORCHED on a screen and nobody here is saying he lost a step or he's done and should be cut. Tryon fine i don't like him either. Davis will contribute big time as will Kelly. I think malcom is going to do big things here and if devin isn't lights out he will lose his spot rather quickly.

Posted by: skinztattoo89 | August 16, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Same difference....patten,trash,lloyd = kelly,thomas,mitchell only difference a different season!!

Posted by: gre28man72 | August 16, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Not sure we need the [Jim] before Zorn.

Posted by: WorstSeat | August 16, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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