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No doubting Thomas now

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Monday, October 22, 2007 John DeShazier Long shot. Fan favorite. Emerging contributor. The evolution of Pierre Thomas continued Sunday against the Falcons, with the free-agent rookie running back showing that the Saints could do worse than turn to him as ...

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:06 AM   #1
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Cool No doubting Thomas now

Monday, October 22, 2007
John DeShazier


Long shot.

Fan favorite.

Emerging contributor.

The evolution of Pierre Thomas continued Sunday against the Falcons, with the free-agent rookie running back showing that the Saints could do worse than turn to him as they move toward steering their crisis toward a more manageable position.

Two carries for 28 yards doesn't seem like much. But when one of those carries goes 24 yards and into the end zone during a 22-16 victory, with the appreciation level of an adoring Superdome crowd growing with each step and shed tackle, the significance can be as big as you want to make it.

And for the Saints, who've won two in a row after opening the season with four consecutive losses, it was pretty big.

"He's a guy I trust a lot with the football," Coach Sean Payton said. "He is smart. It was a really good play he made on the touchdown run. We'll continue to get him more touches."

The more, perhaps, the better, because maybe -- just maybe -- all that preseason production, work that earned Thomas favor over fourth-round pick Antonio Pittman, wasn't a fluke. Running over and around other teams' rejects and throwaways might only have been a taste of what Thomas can do to opponents' regulars if given a chance, which presented itself via a season-ending injury to Deuce McAllister.

"My whole thing is special teams," said Thomas, who scored in his second consecutive game, the first being off a fumble recovery against Seattle. "I'm just trying to do a great job there."

But now that he has that figured sufficiently enough to be trusted with more offensive responsibility, Payton is right to give it to him.

Thomas' third-quarter touchdown, on first down, gave the Saints a 14-13 lead and capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive. He took a handoff from Drew Brees on a draw play and weaved his way through defenders to the end zone, appearing to be stopped but never actually stopping.

"It was a pass play, just in case the inside box was crowded," Thomas said. "Reggie (Bush) went out (as a receiver), and (the defenders) went to Reggie. They didn't think anything about me.

"I just ran it, made a couple of defenders miss. I just wanted to do my part. (The defense) just kind of threw me away."

Good thing the Saints didn't. Because right now they still need all the help they can get.

Sunday wasn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. The Falcons dominated the first half, concluding it with a 13-7 lead. Quarterback Byron Leftwich pretty much had his way (15-of-23 for 145 yards and a touchdown), and when he left with an injury, his backup, former starter Joey Harrington, wasn't far off Leftwich's pace (12-of-18 for 128 yards).

But when a team enters a game 1-4, style points don't mean squat. The Saints will slap some lipstick on this pig, hose it down with cologne and be happy with it and the fact they gained ground on Tampa Bay (4-3), which lost to Detroit on Sunday.

And happy with Thomas and the assist he provided.

"It's just like in college, when you have a walk-on that comes in and earns a scholarship and ends up being a big part of your team," Brees said. "You see it every year in the NFL, and that's what's so great about this league.

"You get these undrafted free agents or seventh-round draft picks like (receiver) Marques Colston last year, and they fight through all kinds of odds just to make the team. And then they're thrust into a role where they're producing.

"I look to the future for Pierre Thomas as being one where he's really going to contribute a lot."

A house that must've felt like his, because Saints fans have adopted the long shot and made him one of them. Many were enamored enough to have questioned why Thomas wasn't playing even before McAllister tore his ACL.

"The fans have been supportive of me ever since the preseason," Thomas said. "It gives me a reason to go out there with a purpose."

That, and the fact he keeps improving, and that his role just might keep growing.

Pierre Thomas sheds would-be tackler Chris Houston on a 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put the Saints ahead of the Falcons 14-13. Expressing trust in his rookie backup running back and special teams player, Coach Sean Payton said, 'We'll continue to get him more touches.'

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Old 10-23-2007, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: No doubting Thomas now

I'm still confused as to why Coach Payton keeps running Stecker out there. PT23 has shown promise in running the ball downhill. Hope to see more of him in the coming weeks as the Thunder to Bush's lightning.

SFIAH
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: No doubting Thomas now

Originally Posted by SaintFanInATLHELL View Post
I'm still confused as to why Coach Payton keeps running Stecker out there. PT23 has shown promise in running the ball downhill. Hope to see more of him in the coming weeks as the Thunder to Bush's lightning.

SFIAH
I keep saying the same thing. Let RB25 and PT23 be a good 1-2 punch. Has Payton watched PT23 in the preseason.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:41 PM   #4
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Re: No doubting Thomas now

You know what irks me......if (God forbid) PT plays next week and fumbles then what are people going to be saying?!? I'm with you guys that he needs to play more. I've been saying it since Deuce went down. But fickleness irritates me!
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: No doubting Thomas now

I have called for PT since pre-season when I took some flack for supporting him over Pittman. It was obvious that he is a better runner than Pittman, but Steck can pick up the blitz better, for sure. Coach needs to get PT more playing time in different sets, especially as a reciever, one back, two back. This will take a little pressure off of Reggie.
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