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Daniel Thomas is so far simply disappointing

On Monday I was standing on the sideline watching the Dolphins practice. On what is just a routine run play into the A-gap, Daniel Thomas took the handoff and this happened when there was no apparent hole:

The Dolphins running back took the handoff and turned his back to the line of scrimmage and backpedalled into the pile of offensive and defensive linemen facing the wrong direction.

I turned to Dolphins officials and said that play tells me all I need to know about Thomas as a running back. His instincts are wrong. Rather than lowering his head and pads and bullying his way into the line to create a hole or, at the very least, bouncing outside to salvage the play, he basically gave up on the play and protected himself.

Not what I would expect from the kid who is 6-1 and 228 pounds.

Not what I would expect from a second-round pick.

Not what I would expect from the player who is supposed to inherit the Miami running back spot after this year because Reggie Bush is in the final year of his contract.

Not what I would expect from an NFL running back.

That moment, in all its disappointment, came back to me when I watched Hard Knocks Tuesday. In the opening minutes of the show, amid all the players that are not getting the job done or getting cut or traded, we see Thomas called into coach Joe Philbin's office.

It wasn't so the coach could give the player a standing ovation. Seems Thomas was late to the team plane that carried the Dolphins to the Carolina game two weeks ago. And he apparently did not meet dress code requirements.

And then last week he was late to a weight lifting session.

"Last week you were late to the plane and you weren't in the proper dress code," Philbin tells Thomas. "Now, I come to find out you were 15 minutes late today. From where I sit I get concerned about that stuff. Obviously, you're going to get fined, but that's not the point. The point is I don't want to be fining anybody. I want guys that do what they're supposed to do and be where they're supposed to be and right now, two times in four days, that's not a good thing."

There's more:

"And I'm just telling you, this can't happen, that kind of stuff can't happen," Philbin adds. "I'm getting a little queasy about you. You got to take responsibility for your own career, what you're doing and when you're doing it. I don't want to come talk to you again. I want to see you out there and next time I want to talk to you on a positive thing, not this kind of stuff."

So what does all this mean?

Look, the Dolphins are fishing for bodies or draft picks or anything that can possibly help them rise from the mire that currently threatens to sink them to the bottom of the AFC East standings once the season begins.

The Detroit Lions, meanwhile, are searching for running backs. And so it's only logical that the Lions might be looking at Miami's supposedly well-stocked running back stable and think maybe Bush might be available for a receiver or draft pick.

And if I'm the Dolphins, I would love to be able to consider the option. Except that the heir to the job can't be on time and isn't exactly producing on the field and isn't exactly following in the tradition of Larry Csonka, either.

So what can the Dolphins do but hold on to Bush, right?

Well, you might say, they can offer Thomas. That's a fine idea except Thomas hasn't done anything of high regard in this league and his tardiness was now on national TV. Also, the head coach said on national TV that he's starting to feel "queasy" about the guy. Yeah, that's going to bring a bigtime dividend in trade from Detroit  ... or anybody.

It's just disappointing. That's all I can say. Disappointing.


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this was irelands 5th draft as the GM. how many successful picks has he produced in those 5 drafts? how many FA's signed have value? he would gladly trade vet players now but most have no value. we are now in full rebuild mode yet again.

Thomas is a bust and the jury is still out on Odrick but missing his entire rookie year, labels him as not the most productive so far.

HK is giving Philbin the opportunity to show everyone how bad Ireland has been. If Ireland wouldn't have traded up to get Thomas it would be a different story. But when you trade up for a 2nd or 3rd rounder they'd better start or be solid contibutors right away. Ireland doesn't have Sparano or Parcell's iron curtain to hide behind anymore. A GM is like a highly drafted player in the fact that by his 4th year he should be a star in the league. Not treading water (barely).

Its too early to call Thomas a bust...lets see what type of production he puts out this season before we slap the "bust" label on him.

...would anyone here label Ronnie Brown, the 2nd overall pick in the draft a bust?...I would.

Thomas has a lot of talent and will prove it this year. I am tired of al the negativity

Mando, you said you expected Thomas to lower his head or to bounce the play outside to salvage some yards. I agree this would be a concern, however, its a measly practice and although it looks bad that he just turned his back and fell I wouldn't expect him to do that in an actual game. If it were first and 10 I expect him to bull his way thru or to try and get a yard or two outside rather than just giving up. In this practice situation why risk him getting banged up? That bull rush thru the middle that means nothing in this practice scenario in August will come back to affect him week 14 or 15 or 16 when the wear and tear of the season can be felt. Then we'll look back and wonder why he sacrificed his head for a worthless play.

Anyone else think its shocking that Tannehill could not name the teams in ANY division in the NFL?


Moore asked him "who is in the NFC East'?....T-Hill:
" I don't know...hmmm, the Chiefs"?

WTF?...has this guy been living under a rock? This is truly alarming to me that he never followed the league he now works for?

running back is a position that does not take a couple of years to get up to speed,
you have it or not and it shows early.
i understand being injured last year, but he must start showing something now

This article suck cow sh*t armando, plain and simple.

the jury is still out on Odrick but missing his entire rookie year, labels him as not the most productive so far.
Posted by: Monte | August 29, 2012 at 09:29 AM

If you take away his rookie season which he was injured and look at his body of work from there till now i would say he's been pretty productive given that he wasn't playing on every down. Odrick seems like a fine pick, more productive than Davis. He's fine against the run/setting the edge; it's not just about sacks, he's had QB pressure too. I can't think of anyone drafted after Odrick (off the top of my head; I don't go to outside sources, too easy) that has been better than Odrick to the point where we can say he was a bad choice. Nicks was the year before him I believe, thats the only guy I can think of


games on WON and LOST on the practice field.....

It starts from the top about the way this team has been built or lack there of. When a player is drafted they talk about his character and if he's coachable
obviously someone is not doing their homework when drafting these players. When you trade up to select a player like Thomas that means you saw something in him.
This team looks horrid terrible mix of players no matter who they bring in.

Anyone else think its shocking that Tannehill could not name the teams in ANY division in the NFL?
Posted by: NHFINSFAN | August 29, 2012 at 09:53 AM

I knew this was going to come up, and I think HK just helped this get blown out of proportion. If he can throw the ball, has knowledge of throwing the football and adjusting, and can play in the NFL, then i could care less if he knew the divisions in football. This has nothing to do with him being successful or not. It'd be nice if he knew which conference teams were in instead of division by division, but i really don't see this as some sort of problem for his development. It's like giving a scientist a history lesson, doesn't correlate to what he's trying to accomplish.

There are more then a few in the Dolphin organization not happy with D Thomas. He's not what they thought....err he's not what Ireland thought. A bust IMO and wont be on the team very long. If they didnt have 3 picks invested in him, he'd have been cut already.

Disappointing. You can say that about all of Ireland's moves.

games on WON and LOST on the practice field.....
Posted by: Kris | August 29, 2012 at 09:56 AM

Yes, I agree. Effort translates to the games; however, he should have tried bouncing outside where he wouldn't have been gang raped by the OL and DL rather than sacrificing his body on a dead play. I understand Philbin wants to see him go at it; it's a rookie head coach and people need to make their stamp. I just don't think that one play should be the end all to Thomas....now if that play is just a sample of how he works during each practice then I'm concerned, but why bash your head, the most fragile part of football as it's being broadcast to us since concussions became such a dilemma, on a play that means nothing

I predict that Thomas will have a great year once the real season starts. Bad post Mando.

My wife was watching HK last night with me and when Ireland was informing Davis he was being traded she said: who is that guy? I like him...he is very professional in the way he conducts himself".

I had to explain to her how most fans hate him and his picks...her reply..." I still think he carries himself well and speaks very directly to the players he's cutting"

Interesting perspective from someone who knows very little about the Fins.

Trading Thomas would be a monumental mistake. He's a 1200 yard rusher/receiver and I PROMISE you that you will see that for whatever team he ends up with.

Mando, thanks for taking my request to do a post on Thomas.

Thomas will have 1400 yards this year, by the way.

Fasano is pure garbage. I will remind you of this fact thrice daily, and I shall be here all year.

Thomas wouldn't be cut by now. SMH. He needs to grow up and take responsibility, yes, but when he wasn't injured last year he showed flashes of being a pretty good back. We were singing his praises when he rushed for back-to-back 100yard games, then he got injured. It happens, we're disappointed. But then again this preseason he's shown flashes. He has the potential, let's wait and see how a full, healthy season plays out for him.

Maybe the leadership council of Long, Bush, and "I like riding my stationary bike" Dansby should get on his a** for not taking responsibility....where are the teammates yelling in his ear. Heck, even Tannehill should be doing it, shows leadership and moxie, something this team apparently needs

pro scouts were not high on d.thomas. reports were that thomas had an "upright" running style which could lend itself to spending time on the IR in the NFL. so far,thats been the case. truth is;he was over drafted. a projected 4th rounder is taken in the 2nd round,much like pat white. ireland's only claim to fame is that parcells put him in a high level position with a golden parachute. he answers to no one.

As far as Tannehill not knowing which teams are in which divisions, this is probably an indication that he doesn't watch much as a fan. There have been many great athletes that haven't been fans of their sports but were great at it. At the same time, it may point to a lack of committment to his craft.

Interesting to see how it plays out. I don't think he lack intelligence as his college education (pre med) points to a guy that can absorb and process information. Also the fact that he progressed so much from draft time until now shows a guy that has committment AND ability. Sure it will still take a year or two until we can expect to take him and match him up against some of the best in the league but right now he's the least of my concerns.

My main concern is the guy making all the big decisions. Now there's a lot of warning signs with D Thomas but he also ran extremely well and hard against Atlanta ... so let's see how it goes.

Dude rookie Thomas has 2 100 yard games back to back before he got hurt. He's going to be a beast this year. He's not supposed to injure his teammates in practice.

Practice? Are we talking about practice??? Practice!! I mean, come on?!? Practice?? Are we talking about practice??? I mean. Come on. It's practice!!!

I'm glad we're complaining about Thomas' lack of practice effort compared to Michael Vicks ribs or Ryan Matthews being out 6 weeks for the Chargers. The fact we're knit-picking on things shows we don't have something big to talk about....well....except.....the lack of OVERALL talent where it matters (WR, CB)

((for all those trying to say we have no talent, I'd like to point you to the following players: Pouncy, Long, Incognito is solid -- haven't heard a complaint about him, Bush, Thomas -- if he pans out, Bess, Tannehill, Dansby, Burrnett, the entire DL. If those players can translate their talent to the NFL games -- I'm looking at Dansby, Burrnett, Tannehill, and Thomas -- then we wouldnt be the 1-15 team everyone insists we are))

I LOVE that Tanne can't name the teams in divisions. It means he doesn't care; he plans to annihilate every team. Doesn't matter where they came from.

Go Tanne!!!

Throw Tanne Throw!!!

D Thomas is not good.

After watching last night's episode of Hard Knocks, Jimmy Bourbon, has plenty to say about what he thinks of the job Jeff Ireland is doing. Check out Jimmy's tirade at

Thomas is showing a little bit of rebellion because the 230 pound beast is sick of being the backup to puny Bush. He's probably not going about it the right way. But you will see this year that Thomas will be the better back and average 4.8 while Bush will revert to his career 3.9.

It will be like the last few years when backup Ricky was clearly way better than "starter" Bust Brown.

T-Hill has mad talent and hope he's our long term answer at QB...I was just shocked that he could not name any team in the NFC East...including his beloved Cowboys since he grew up in Texas.

...just saying its kinda weird.

Everyone from draft experts to NFL fans knew White was a bad choice at QB, Miami saw a wildcat player not a QB and that was the worst use of a 2nd round pick in the history of the organization. At least Merling intercepted Favre for a pick 6 to seal the division title for us, White retired a year later. His name shouldn't be muttered here, it brings back demons.

That segment on Daniel Thomas was very disturbing. That's an Ireland draft pick (that he traded up for) so what I feel "queasy" about is that Ireland is still there.

I will say one thing--I definitely like that Philbin isn't messing around. He reminds me of Tom Coughlin. Maybe he will work out & maybe he won't but AT LEAST he's holding the players accountable.

From the mouth of HOF basketball coach Morgan Wootten. Play hard, smart, together, and have fun. The fun part is just as important as the other 3. Looks like some body needs to share this with the entire club.


I don't buy into the "one" play either....nor do I care about...

What concerns me is his "character"...

The Charater issues concern me way more that....

Thomas is showing a little bit of rebellion because the 230 pound beast is sick of being the backup to puny Bush. He's probably not going about it the right way. But you will see this year that Thomas will be the better back and average 4.8 while Bush will revert to his career 3.9.

It will be like the last few years when backup Ricky was clearly way better than "starter" Bust Brown.


It's possible but clearly Philbin is pissed off. Regardless of what Mando is saying I like Thomas & I believe he's going to have a good year.

As I said from the beginning, doing this stupid TV show was a huge mistake. No reason to embarrass ourselves on national TV. Not one good can come of it. There is no way Philbin is not "acting" at least a little bit and otherwise changing how he might ordinarily interact with players in the absence of a TV camera. Just human nature.


The PBP had a negative article on Thomas also.

shoot I accidentially hit enter.

continuing: Allan Iverson's sentiments regarding the importance of practice are EXTRA correct when it comes to the brutal world of NFL football.

We don't need Thomas drilling his own O lineman in the back on one play in practice. It's just one play. You live to fight another day. We need Thomas with good legs come the 14th and 15th and 16th game of the year. WE don't need him getting hurt in practice on August 28.

Come on man!

MiamiD20 is correct on the Thomas play.

Come on Mando, be a professional.

I think it's great that Philbin is on Thomas at this stage of the game. Maybe if someone had been on Davis a little earlier in his career he would have been a more productive player and still a Miami Dolphin. Davis doesn't seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer and to me it's amazing that he be so shocked that he was traded. I STILL don't think he gets it...#clueless.

The reason Thomas's vharater concerns me is this....

Supposedly Ireland is suppose to be a high character guy...

If you give up additional picks to get a high..usually its because you LOVE what they bring to the table...athletics..and personality....

Looks like Ireland goofed on the personality part....

Thats what bothers me...

I don't like contradictions...I like consistent..

Kris, i agree. He's starting to look like Vontae Davis in a sense that he doesn't feel the need to be responsable. That's where i believe the team leaders need to step up and teach him how to grow up. If he were late to the plane he most certainly wouldn't have been late to the weight lifting session out of sheer fear. That wouldnt have happened in NYG and NE and Pittsburgh (maybe with the NY Jests though :p) because the players would have grilled him for it. If no one other than Philbin is going to hold him accountable then why change his attitude. If the players start turning their back to him when he speaks or tries to start a convo then he'll get the point. Where is Incognito bashing a guy when you need him.


I don't buy into the "one" play either....nor do I care about...

What concerns me is his "character"...

The Charater issues concern me way more that...."


Agreed. I believe Thomas is going to be a good RB.

Last night's Hard knocks was IMO the best episode so far. The thing I find the most interesting is that even with all of the media personnel that covers this team none of them REALLY knows what is going on with the players or the day to day of this football team. I find it humorous that Mando posts this B.S. about Thomas after last night's episode like he KNOWS something.

Agree, RBs. I think it's pretty clear that, barring injury, Thomas will have a breakout year. Philbin is just trying to get him fired up a little bit.

I still think it was a terrible idea to do this TV show.

I promise you that it would be a bad move to trade Thomas. You will see him getting 1200 yard seasons for another team.

Yeah I get that Philbin is instilling discipline. I also think I'm correct about the rebellion thing a little bit. Thomas is still a kid.

Dude will be fine when the season starts. Might be better than fine. He might get 20 touches a game and 1600 total yards.


I don't think Ireland has a hard and fast rule when it comes to 'character' guys. He brought Marshall in, was involved with drafting Davis, gave Chad Johnson a chance and was part of the regime that took Ricky Williams back.

I think the guy that has a bigger issue with 'character' is Philbin. Now will this mean we'll miss out on some pretty good players because of this hard and fast rule? Could be.

Vontae Davis & Chad Johnson are from the same mold: great physical talents, but short on brains.

You put Les Brown's heart and brain inside Chad Johnson's body and you have a hall of fame player.

Dudes, he's a kid. How many times have you been 15 minutes late to work, unshaven, not meeting dress code?

I'm a lawyer and I'm not proud to say that I'm 45 minutes late and unshaven almost every day.

He was 15 minutes late. What's all this talk about him having an attitude problem. He's not a racist punk like Charles BArkley, Warren Sapp, or Channing Crowder.

Dude was 15 minutes late one day. Traffic was bad. Chill out.

I think it's great that Philbin is on Thomas at this stage of the game. Maybe if someone had been on Davis a little earlier in his career he would have been a more productive player and still a Miami Dolphin. Davis doesn't seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer and to me it's amazing that he be so shocked that he was traded. I STILL don't think he gets it...#clueless.


Davis might be a nice kid but he seems like an idiot. I'd like to see his Wonderlic scores....

Since you keep mentioning Davis, it was a monumental error to lose him and the 7 to 10 INTs he was poised to give us this year.

God this organization and Philbin are garbage.

Daniel Thomas is a bust. Especially when you gave 3 friggin picks for this scrub. Why sugar coat it?

Mike, you literally cannot say he's a bust yet. He get's one full season dude! He had 2 straight 100 yard games last year and then got hurt.

What we're talking about so far this year is PRACTICE.
The season has not started yet.

I predict that Thomas will have a breakout 1200 yard year.

Craig M...

Good points and observations...I can't really argue against that...

RBs I totally agree with you, as I already stated, in your blasting of MANDO for this post. Unless his goal is just to stir up trouble, which it might be, this is just a crap post.

Mando knows, or should know, damn well, that you don't drill your O lineman in the back with your helmet on a busted play in practie in August.

Thomas proved he was ready for the season in the 3rd preaseason game, where he looked very, very good.

Now it's time to rest for the real season.

Also, thank God we office workers are not held to the same standard these kids are. Most of us are 15 minutes late every day and then spend all day on this blog!!! (myself included)


Davis was giving us 7-10 INTS this year? How do you figure? The guy couldn't even show up to camp in shape and wasn't prepared to bust his ass. Too bad I couldn't get some money off you because he's not getting 7-10 INTS in Indy this year. Guys not a good enough pro. He'll get beat time after time time in Indy. His career will be over in a few years after bouncing around a bit and he'll still have that dumb ass look of shock on his face. Sad really, cause the guy does have a lot of talent.


I hear what your saying...you don't wnat us to go overboard....

but the life of an NFL player (during the season)...is fairly simple...


15 minutes here....late to a flight there....these things are usually indicitive of future problems....you HAVE to nip them early...

Yup. He's terrible and lazy and doesn't care. Waste of a second round pick. I would like to see a chart of miamis draft picks over the last ten yrs and see how long each player lasted on the team and the nfl


Thomas running style reminds me alot of Ronnie Brown's...straight ahead...and usually falls forward...


I agree with your post at 10:43am. Nip that stuff in the bud early...good point.

I'm one of the guys that thinks Thomas has some talent. I think he could be a good pro. But he's got to get the most out of what he has before it's all over. Running backs have a short life and it's now or never.

If Ireland buys into Philbin and Philbin's approach is right in that it pans out in 2-3 years then this will be great, meaning the release of CJ, trading of VD, and smack down on DT. We all know this division belongs to the Patriots until Brady retires, so why put all of our resources into lost years? Bring Tannehill up to speed, surround him with young, talented, and professional people/players. And in 3 years when the Patriots start to flop and the Jests need to rebuild from their circus and the bills are still trying to find a franchise QB we'll be laughing our way to division title after division title.

Fasucko...how the heck was Vontae giving us 7-10 INT's this season as the BACKUP?

Marshall won the starter position by beating out Davis in camp.

Backup's are on the field less than 50% of the time so Davis would have been lucky to get 2 picks this year.

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