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What happened with OG Donald Thomas here??

Posted: 11/29/2012 10:12 AM

What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


The curious case of Donald Thomas' release by Miami

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m. on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium

Former Dolphins offensive guard Donald Thomas is thriving with New England

  • Why did the Dolphins release Donald Thomas in 2010?
Why did the Dolphins release Donald Thomas in 2010? (Sun-Sentinel )
November 27, 2012|By Omar KellySun Sentinel

There are some mysteries that never get solved. The police and legal system call them Cold Cases.

Well, I'm still stuck on a Cold Case I've been trying to solve since the summer of 2010. It involves the Miami Dolphins' unexpected, and unexplained release of Donald Thomas, who spent the previous season as the team's starting right guard.

It was clear the Dolphins initially liked what they saw from the team's 2008 sixth-round pick. Thomas became an immediate rookie start that season, then suffered a season-ending foot injury in the season opener against the Jets. Coincidentally, in that game Thomas was supposedly rated by his coaches as the team's top performing offensive lineman, outshining No. 1 overall pick Jake Long.

Then in 2009 Thomas started 12 of 16 games at right guard for an offensive line that rushing for 2,231 yards and scored 22 rushing touchdowns. He played well (five sacks, 10 quarterback hurries) until hitting what NFL experts call the rookie wall late in that season (because he missed most of his rookie season the wall was delayed and he was platooned).

Miami clearly felt they needed to do better because that offseason the Dolphins traded fellow starter Justin Smiley to Jacksonville, signed free agent Richie Incognito and drafted John Jerry in the third round.

It was Tony Sparano's big master plan to improve his offensive line.

Both players quickly moved ahead of Thomas on the depth chart. Whether their status was earned or not is debatable. But what isn't debatable was the fact a team with what turned into a struggling offensive line released a proven starter before the season without explanation. Then when injuries hit they patched the line up with Pat McQuistan, whom the team traded for shortly after releasing Thomas.

Meanwhile Thomas struggled to catch on in the NFL before eventually finishing the season with the Lions.

He joined the Patriots in 2011 and has since thrived as a part-time starter for New England. ProFootballFocus.com presently rates Thomas as the 14th best offensive guard this season.

In the nine games (523 snaps) he's played for the Patriots Thomas has allowed two quarterback hits, nine hurries and no sacks. He has the 12th highest run blocking grade (5.9) for one of the NFL's best rushing offenses (143 rushing yards per game, which ranks the Patriots 6th in the NFL).

Just for comparison sake Jerry, the player who replaced Thomas, is rated by ProFootballFocus as the NFL's 64th best offensive guard, and Incognito is rated No. 49. The Dolphins average 3.9 rushing yards per game.

I'm usually not one of those individuals that harps on old stuff, but this Cold Case has always lingered because I've never gotten a straight, or honest answer about Thomas' release.

The best explanation I've ever received was that the Dolphins didn't feel he could hold up physically, and that excuse never passed the B.S. meter considering they often praised him early for his raw strength, which made him one of the weight room's top performers. I bought that explanation when Thomas struggled to catch on with another team.

But seeing him thrive in New England, where he'll likely line up opposite Randy Starks and Paul Soliai this week, makes this an issue moving forward considering he's an excellent puller for what is now considered a forceful running team.

I can't help but think a player like that would be useful to the Dolphins right about now.

If the logic of Thomas release made sense, or was performance based (it wasn't) I'd let this Cold Case go. But right now all we can do is add him to to list of former Dolphins turned productive NFL starters in New England.

If you don't learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them.

G.G.G.

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Posted: 11/29/2012 10:44 AM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


I am going to stick with my theory that Miami struggles with OL because of the heat and humidity.

I believe strongly that these 300+ lbs guys get worn down in camp, and get worn down throughout the season. John Jerry coming into camp at over 350 lbs is a complete waste of time even though he played in Mississippi and is sorta used to the heat, he is simply too big to stay healthy or be productive over a 17 week season.

I don't think its a coincidence that Miami's best OL in the last decade played his college ball in the state of Florida.

I would also bet that some of Long's injuries have to do with dehydration

Donald Thomas played his college ball in the northeast. hmmmmmmm
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Posted: 11/29/2012 12:25 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



TourDeForce wrote: I am going to stick with my theory that Miami struggles with OL because of the heat and humidity.

I believe strongly that these 300+ lbs guys get worn down in camp, and get worn down throughout the season. John Jerry coming into camp at over 350 lbs is a complete waste of time even though he played in Mississippi and is sorta used to the heat, he is simply too big to stay healthy or be productive over a 17 week season.

I don't think its a coincidence that Miami's best OL in the last decade played his college ball in the state of Florida.

I would also bet that some of Long's injuries have to do with dehydration

Donald Thomas played his college ball in the northeast. hmmmmmmm
If thats true then thats another failure for the Bill Parcells blueprint. Another reason to be against Ireland spending more high picks on O-lineman. Unless he changes his critieria.

Last edited 11/29/2012 12:28 PM by rightNexact

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Posted: 11/29/2012 1:55 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



rightNexact wrote:
TourDeForce wrote: I am going to stick with my theory that Miami struggles with OL because of the heat and humidity.

I believe strongly that these 300+ lbs guys get worn down in camp, and get worn down throughout the season. John Jerry coming into camp at over 350 lbs is a complete waste of time even though he played in Mississippi and is sorta used to the heat, he is simply too big to stay healthy or be productive over a 17 week season.

I don't think its a coincidence that Miami's best OL in the last decade played his college ball in the state of Florida.

I would also bet that some of Long's injuries have to do with dehydration

Donald Thomas played his college ball in the northeast. hmmmmmmm
If thats true then thats another failure for the Bill Parcells blueprint. Another reason to be against Ireland spending more high picks on O-lineman. Unless he changes his critieria.

Or takes OL from southern college teams. The best OL in the upcoming draft is a LT from A&M or the OG from Alabama
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Posted: 11/29/2012 2:15 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



TourDeForce wrote: I am going to stick with my theory that Miami struggles with OL because of the heat and humidity.

I believe strongly that these 300+ lbs guys get worn down in camp, and get worn down throughout the season. John Jerry coming into camp at over 350 lbs is a complete waste of time even though he played in Mississippi and is sorta used to the heat, he is simply too big to stay healthy or be productive over a 17 week season.

I don't think its a coincidence that Miami's best OL in the last decade played his college ball in the state of Florida.

I would also bet that some of Long's injuries have to do with dehydration

Donald Thomas played his college ball in the northeast. hmmmmmmm
Definitely agree.
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Posted: 11/29/2012 2:32 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


The cuts of 2010 were VERY dubious to me.  They cut half the offensive line from the season before and it made no sense to me then and it doesn't make any sense to me now.  Donald Thomas should NOT have been cut.  Period.  End of Story.  He may have been out of shape in camp and struggled, but he has always been a strong and tough guy who, when in shape, can maul and move up front.  Considering the gaping hole for mobile guards we haveThomas would have been an amazing fit here.  4/5th's of the O-line would have been SET. 

Ireland MADE that pick.  Sparano and HIS STAFF made the cuts.  I hate Ireland with a passion, but the decision to cut players or retain them was made by the coaching staff and this one is on Sparano and his goons.

"Make it Rain Hell"

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Posted: 11/29/2012 3:13 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



DantesDolfanInferno wrote: The cuts of 2010 were VERY dubious to me.  They cut half the offensive line from the season before and it made no sense to me then and it doesn't make any sense to me now.  Donald Thomas should NOT have been cut.  Period.  End of Story.  He may have been out of shape in camp and struggled, but he has always been a strong and tough guy who, when in shape, can maul and move up front.  Considering the gaping hole for mobile guards we haveThomas would have been an amazing fit here.  4/5th's of the O-line would have been SET. 

Ireland MADE that pick.  Sparano and HIS STAFF made the cuts.  I hate Ireland with a passion, but the decision to cut players or retain them was made by the coaching staff and this one is on Sparano and his goons.
Yeah i remember how dumbfounded i was because thomas and Andrew Gardner two up and coming young guys were released at the the final cutdown about 5 days before the season opener.  Even if they came in out of shape, you still keep them let them work back into shape and use them down the line..   Not only that we replaced them with Pat Mcquistan and Matt Kopa.banghead
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Posted: 11/29/2012 3:21 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



Gonzorot wrote:
DantesDolfanInferno wrote: The cuts of 2010 were VERY dubious to me.  They cut half the offensive line from the season before and it made no sense to me then and it doesn't make any sense to me now.  Donald Thomas should NOT have been cut.  Period.  End of Story.  He may have been out of shape in camp and struggled, but he has always been a strong and tough guy who, when in shape, can maul and move up front.  Considering the gaping hole for mobile guards we haveThomas would have been an amazing fit here.  4/5th's of the O-line would have been SET. 

Ireland MADE that pick.  Sparano and HIS STAFF made the cuts.  I hate Ireland with a passion, but the decision to cut players or retain them was made by the coaching staff and this one is on Sparano and his goons.
Yeah i remember how dumbfounded i was because thomas and Andrew Gardner two up and coming young guys were released at the the final cutdown about 5 days before the season opener.  Even if they came in out of shape, you still keep them let them work back into shape and use them down the line..   Not only that we replaced them with Pat Mcquistan and Matt Kopa.banghead
That right there, in RED.  Not only were they cut, they were replaced with two turnstyles. That was the point in time when I realized Ireland was probably still on Jerry Jones Payroll somehow.

"Make it Rain Hell"

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Posted: 12/3/2012 5:52 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


Don't know if I'm not as knowledgable as the next but can someone explain to me how this guy is 'not good enough' for our roster but he can start for the Superbowl favourites?

Sounds bloody barmy to me.  eek1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:16 PM

RE: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


I don't really know what happened to Donald Thomas and why he fell out of favor, what I do know is Wes Welker has proved he was worth 2x what he asked for from the Dolphins and the pick we got from New England was worthless, keeping him out of our divison rivals hands would of been worth giving the pick away to anyone who was not New England. It's utter BS that Tom Brady made Welker, Welker could of had close to the same career with any good QB and proved he was worth 1 round +++...Talk about a worthless GM I think that was Speilman. And lets not forget Larry Izzo who we let walk because he didn't want to pay, Thomas not exactly a starter for New England either he is filling in because they lost some OL man (2) I think..
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Posted: 12/7/2012 3:23 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 



DantesDolfanInferno wrote:
Gonzorot wrote:
DantesDolfanInferno wrote: The cuts of 2010 were VERY dubious to me.  They cut half the offensive line from the season before and it made no sense to me then and it doesn't make any sense to me now.  Donald Thomas should NOT have been cut.  Period.  End of Story.  He may have been out of shape in camp and struggled, but he has always been a strong and tough guy who, when in shape, can maul and move up front.  Considering the gaping hole for mobile guards we haveThomas would have been an amazing fit here.  4/5th's of the O-line would have been SET. 

Ireland MADE that pick.  Sparano and HIS STAFF made the cuts.  I hate Ireland with a passion, but the decision to cut players or retain them was made by the coaching staff and this one is on Sparano and his goons.
Yeah i remember how dumbfounded i was because thomas and Andrew Gardner two up and coming young guys were released at the the final cutdown about 5 days before the season opener.  Even if they came in out of shape, you still keep them let them work back into shape and use them down the line..   Not only that we replaced them with Pat Mcquistan and Matt Kopa.banghead
That right there, in RED.  Not only were they cut, they were replaced with two turnstyles. That was the point in time when I realized Ireland was probably still on Jerry Jones Payroll somehow.
Thats when i realized Ireland has very few connections or knowledge of players in the league.. Those acquisitions and subsequent acquisitions only with players that have been on his teams or played in dallas were signed his first 2 years here.

It made me a little upset that of all the players the cowboys let go he signed, He didn't go after Martellus Bennett who actually was a world class talented TE formerly of the cowboys.
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Posted: 12/19/2012 1:50 PM

Re: What happened with OG Donald Thomas here?? 


Donald Thomas has done what? He's a backup who has gotten playing time because of injuries. He's been far from perfect and was a turnstile in at least one of the Patriots losses this season.

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