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Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE - After seven weeks of the 2009 NFL season, it's business as usual for New Orleans Saints tight end David Thomas. Thomas is again playing for an undefeated team and is working every day with one of the game's ...

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Old 11-06-2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

METAIRIE - After seven weeks of the 2009 NFL season, it's business as usual for New Orleans Saints tight end David Thomas.
Thomas is again playing for an undefeated team and is working every day with one of the game's premier quarterbacks - just as he did when he was with the 2007 New England Patriots before landing on injured reserve.
Other than wearing new colors, the only difference is Thomas, a four-year veteran from Texas, is catching passes from Drew Brees rather than Tom Brady.

That's not a bad tradeoff, which is how Thomas came to the Saints - in exchange for a 2011 seventh-round draft pick.

While many players might have had some misgivings about being traded away by the Patriots, especially if they go to a losing team, Thomas doesn't think his deal ended up so bad.

"It all happened really fast, but I'm happy to be here," Thomas said. "I'm excited to be a part of this team. These guys have really embraced me and helped me fit in. I'm just trying to work hard and get better every day.

"I'm just happy to be part of a team that's winning games," Thomas said of the 7-0 Saints , who are just one of two remaining undefeated teams going into Sunday's game with the Carolina Panthers.

That he's part of it is more than he can say about the 2007 season when the Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season and won two playoff games before falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Thomas played in only two games that season before ending up on injured reserve with a foot injury, which meant he had to watch the Patriots' historic march through the regular season from the sideline.

Thomas has played a key role as a receiver and run blocker since the Saints got him from the Patriots on Sept. 5. He didn't participate in his first practice with his new team until Sept. 7, then started the season opener six days later in a double tight end set with Jeremy Shockey.

While Shockey is one of Brees' primary targets, Thomas has quickly and quietly settled into his role as the No. 2 tight end. He has seven catches for 78 yards and has helped the Saints' running game, which ranks fourth in the NFL with 153.3 yards per game, as an extra blocker.

In his first three seasons, Thomas, a third-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2006, caught 21 passes for 261 yards and a TD while starting 13 games. His rookie season was his best when he had 11 receptions for 159 yards.

"Yeah, I've gotten more opportunities," he said of his brief time with the Saints , "and I'm happy that I've been able to step in and gain some confidence with Drew and the coaches that put me out there."

The Saints desperately needed another tight end after Billy Miller tore his Achilles' tendon in the final exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins. Two days later, they made the deal with the Patriots.

Thomas said he had no inclination the Patriots were willing to part with him, which made the trade a complete shock to him. During training camp and the preseason, he had gotten his normal allotment of reps alternating with Ben Watson and Chris Baker.

"I was a little surprised when it all went down," Thomas said, "but I'm real happy to be here. It's nice to be with another great quarterback going from Tom to Drew, so it's been a great transition for me."

The transition was more like a blur, however, because of the need to get into his new playbook quickly.

"Every offense is complicated and every offense has things that are more complicated than others," Thomas said. "This is definitely a tough system, but the guys have helped me learn it. (Tight ends) Coach (Terry) Malone did a great job with the way he taught it to me.

"All of those guys - Jeremy and Darnell (Dinkins) and Billy - they were all there giving me tips and pointers, so they get a lot of credit with that. Drew and those guys helped me a lot, too."

Thomas' role expanded last week, however, when fullback Heath Evans was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Thomas started in Monday night's game with the Atlanta Falcons because Kyle Eckel, who was signed to take Evans' roster spot, had only been with the team for four days.

"That's something I've always learned, the more you can do the more you can help your team," Thomas said. "I try to pay attention to the whole offensive scheme and not just the small area that I live in."

"Dave is smart and versatile, and I think he's athletic," Saints coach Sean Payton said of plugging Thomas in at fullback. "He's been versatile - that would be a good way to describe his skill set in both the passing game, in (pass) protections and in the running game.

"He has been an important acquisition. He sure has been."



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Old 11-06-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
Thomas has played a key role as a receiver and run blocker since the Saints got him from the Patriots on Sept. 5. He didn't participate in his first practice with his new team until Sept. 7, then started the season opener six days later in a double tight end set with Jeremy Shockey.

While Shockey is one of Brees' primary targets, Thomas has quickly and quietly settled into his role as the No. 2 tight end. He has seven catches for 78 yards and has helped the Saints' running game, which ranks fourth in the NFL with 153.3 yards per game, as an extra blocker.


"Every offense is complicated and every offense has things that are more complicated than others," Thomas said. "This is definitely a tough system, but the guys have helped me learn it. (Tight ends) Coach (Terry) Malone did a great job with the way he taught it to me.

"All of those guys - Jeremy and Darnell (Dinkins) and Billy - they were all there giving me tips and pointers, so they get a lot of credit with that. Drew and those guys helped me a lot, too."

"Dave is smart and versatile, and I think he's athletic," Saints coach Sean Payton said of plugging Thomas in at fullback. "He's been versatile - that would be a good way to describe his skill set in both the passing game, in (pass) protections and in the running game.
Our Saints are the complete package this season. By that I mean from the top down in the organization. Good personel moves, good coaching, and good leadership in the lockerroom. When teams like the Steelers or Pats in the last few years had injuries or traded players, it seemed they could just plug the next guy in and not lose a step. That was because they had good systems in place and good coaching and the right players to plug in. I think we are now very close to being in that position. Thomas is just another good example.

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Old 11-06-2009, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

The Saints didn't just pluck any TE available when Miller went down. This was a calculated move. I read where the Saints had a really high grade on this guy. When you see that a team is ridiculously deep at one position, (NE at TE) it's always good to scout the backups. In fact, does anyone here remember the conditions under which we aquired L'roi Glover? If you'll think back, Oakland had a log jam at DT. Russell Maryland, Darrel Russell, Chester McGlocklin. They were sick at DT, and Glover was a gem no one knew about.

Here are some clips of David Thomas at Texas. If Im not mistaken, he's 248 lbs. Watch the film, the guy moves like a 215 pounder, and has a reputation of being a good blocker. This was a steal I tell ya.




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Old 11-06-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Does anybody else like getting Patriots players?
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Originally Posted by turbo_dog View Post
Our Saints are the complete package this season. By that I mean from the top down in the organization. Good personel moves, good coaching, and good leadership in the lockerroom. When teams like the Steelers or Pats in the last few years had injuries or traded players, it seemed they could just plug the next guy in and not lose a step. That was because they had good systems in place and good coaching and the right players to plug in. I think we are now very close to being in that position. Thomas is just another good example.

WHODAT?!
This is so true..I couldn't agree more. We have built a dynasty!
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Can't argue with David Thomas, part of that Horns national championship team!!!

Hook'em Horns \m/ \m/
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post
This is so true..I couldn't agree more. We have built a dynasty!
Whoaaaa.... multiple seasons of average results does not equal dynasty in my book.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Originally Posted by neugey View Post
Hook'em Horns \m/ \m/
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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Old 11-07-2009, 12:51 AM   #9
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

Originally Posted by foreverfan View Post
Does anybody else like getting Patriots players?
I don't mind at all. They come from a Championship mind set.
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: Thomas proving to be valuable commodity

wasn't thomas that messed up that on side kick ? If it was, get it together man.
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