Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Safety Michael Thomas became a hero for the city of Miami after intercepting a Tom Brady pass in the endzone that would've won the game for the Patriots last year, and now the Miami Dolphins are calling on him again to step up and make plays in the secondary.
The Miami Herald's Adam Beasley reported that Thomas was to get an expanded role in the secondary, presumably to allow Jimmy Wilson to take his spot as the nickel corner back where he excelled last season.
Thomas had an opportunity to start against the Buffalo Bills due to starting safety Louis Delmas being a little gimpy with a calf injury, but in the end it was Delmas who played the majority of the snaps, nevertheless, Thomas had every intention to take advantage of his opportunity.
“I was surprised when they told me I was starting,” Thomas said Thursday. “You never know when your number's going to be called. It's that next-man-up mentality. I just want to take advantage of any opportunity I can get.”
Thomas has the ability to tackle well, and he plays with a lot of effort which always makes a difference on the field. Head coach Joe Philbin recently praised those very traits.
“I like the way he tackles,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “I think he’s a very good tackler. He’s very intense. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy that we’ve liked what he’s done really since the day he’s got here. We’ll see how it goes this week, [but] those are the things we like about him. The guy is a football player.”
With Wilson taking the nickel corner spot back, that leaves Will Davis on the outside looking in. While Davis has clearly improved, he wasn't able to keep up with rookie phenom Sammy Watkins, who routinely beat him in coverage. Davis will surely get his snaps, but for now the Dolphins are taking a different approach and are giving Michael Thomas a chance to step up like he did last year against New England.
“Me and a couple of other DBs were just talking about how everybody’s situation was different,” Thomas said. “I was just bringing up how I can go from practice squad, in the sense of not even being in the picture of playing on someone’s team, to having a chance to start ... It’s crazy. It’s a blessing every single day.”