Devin Thomas was drafted in the second-round in the 2008 NFL Draft and celebrated by hitting up a strip club with his family. Good stuff right? So with the draft coming up I thought it would be fun to get to know the Redskins wide out a little better. Among other things, Devin and I talked about his new website, top choices for weight room music (Lil Wayne), and his uncanny ability to "lose" his shirt in the middle of a work out. But most importantly, we talked about how he's spending time with his teammates and trying to become a better football player.
On a team that is dying for a number two receiver to step up, Thomas could very likely be the guy. Devin looks around the locker room, maybe for JC, turns back and says "the most important thing you need to do is have that QB/WR relationship. I really feel like this is something that only time spent together can create." Knowing that, Devin is trying to do everything he can to step up and fill that spot. Making his home in Ashburn this offseason Thomas decided to has participated in the team's voluntary workout program. Though he is through being a rookie on the field, that isn't the case in the weight room. Working so hard at times he can't keep down his breakfast. After some pushing he opened up to tell his side of the story.
"You know they got us in here doing some good stuff. One of the things we do is some circuits. That day, as a matter of fact it was the same workout we did today, and uh, shoot, it (the circuit) was like four rounds and when I got to that fourth round...I felt that Gatorade comin' and I had to go ahead and throw it up."Just as he finished telling me about losing his lunch Shawn Suisham asked, "Is it also true that you lost your shirt in that round?"
"Ya I came out without the shirt the third round. Got too hot man. I always take my shirt off...you know I'm hurtin' when I take my shirt off."
Suisham chuckles and quietly chimes in, "The guy must be hurtin' a lot."
Once that awkward exchange cleared the air we continued talking about his role on this team. The conversation moves back to the quarterback and Devin assuringly points out his admiration for QB Jason Campbell. "He goes through so much adversity and so much criticism and he keeps a smile on his face and he keeps thinking positively. I really admire the way he handles himself." Thomas also talked about having a great relationship with wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, and the importance of having respect for someone you work with on a day to day basis. Maybe this was learned in Devin's first job at Wendy's or possibly when he worked as a bouncer in college. Did Thomas ever lose his shirt in a fight?
"Naw. Actually since I knew a bunch of people from college nobody would fight. I'd just kinda talk it out and calm things down."
That must have struck a chord because just then Devin hopped up and threw on a Redskins issued sweatshirt and said "don't you wanna hear about my new website?" He proceeded to tell me that he is doing it to give fans an insight into his life. "So people can understand who I am. You know, get the inside scoop." He mainly plans on using his site to give back to the fans by reaching out to those that touch him with their story. (Like this one) Devin also has facebook and twitter.
Besides starting the site, working out with the team, and losing his shirt, Devin has been laying low, spending much of his off season with his dog Dutch, "I gotta keep him outta the rain, he hates it. Dutch is a rottweiler named after Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Predator. The last couple months Devin has been a shining example of a productive second year player is doing to make the most of his off season opportunity. So when you see number 11 hit the field this year you can expect a man who has put in the time and is ready to help his team win.