Written by Matthew Cannata
Marcus Thigpen came into the NFL in 2009 and was soon cut by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. Then, he went to the CFL to prove himself before signing a deal with the Miami Dolphins in 2012. Two years later, he's fighting for a roster spot. Making things a bit complicated is the fact that the Dolphins moved him to wide receiver in the offseason after having him as a running back in 2012 and 2013. The problem? The wide receiver position is filled with quality players and the team is going to have a very tough time deciding who to keep.
Thigpen knows how to deal with adversity though, as he found out in 2009 when he wanted to quit the game of football altogether.
"It's been a lot of times where I just wanted to pack it up and quit and get a regular 9-to-5. But my wife has always been there for me, I've got a great group of friends, and they always push me to strive," Thigpen said. "They'll always say 'you didn't come this far for nothing. Just keep fighting.'"
Then, this past offseason, he faced more adversity and found that the weight room has helped him cope with his struggles.
"Just going there kind of eases my mind. I had a rough offseason -- my father passed away and that was one thing that helped me get my mind off it," he said. "I would go in there and just kill the weights and spend the rest of the time with my family. That's just a part of me."
Thigpen has made his mark on special teams in his two years with the Dolphins. After being one of the best returners in the league in 2012, his production dramatically decreased in 2013. Whether that was due to his lack of focus and effort, the players on special teams or a combination of both isn't fully known. And now, not only is he competing against other wide receivers, he's also competing with Jarvis Landry, Brent Grimes and Damien Williams to return kicks.
Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor thinks Thigpen could bring some excitement to the offense but ultimately, it will come down to a numbers game.
"Marcus has shown a lot of ability, his ability to play in space obviously has been well-noted, to carry the ball in space on his returns," Lazor said. "You had a chance to see him in a couple of roles offensively last year. We thought at this point putting him in the wide receiver position would give him a chance to try to accelerate his learning, to try to become a master at that so we could evaluate how well he does it."
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