WR/RB De’Anthony Thomas
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, De’Anthony Thomas (DAT) has the best game tapes and highlight reels of any college prospect I have ever seen, bar none.
I think the big question facing DAT and the Chiefs now is, can he play in the NFL without getting his brains bashed in. And… can the Chiefs management and DAT come to an agreement about just how bad his concussion is… when he gets one.
DAT was cleared to play following the concussion protocols that the Chiefs have in place but he left the team for “non-football illness” reasons in January. While I believe the standards the Chiefs have in place are higher than most team’s standards, I can understand DAT’s point of view: whether that was to take time off to attend to a tummy ache… or whether that was him considering retirement… or taking stock of his health… or whatever might have been. Recently we’ve all been made very aware of how tough the game of professional football really is and sometimes players have no idea of what they’re going to do… until they step away from the game for awhile.
Now, De’Anthony Thomas assures us he’s coming back and I couldn’t be happier about his decision. I’ve never seen a player so completely hounded, tracked and mirrored… before the snap… of the football. That alone makes DAT a threat wherever and whenever he’s lined up on the field. That makes DAT a threat no matter whether he gets the ball or not. DAT is a threat. In an article called, “Chiefs offseason Issue: Making De’Anthony Thomas more productive,” Adam Teicher wrote,
"“Thomas is a talented player. He’s fast and opponents have to respect his speed whether he gets the ball or not. The Chiefs have been a better offensive team with him on the field regardless of where they go with the ball.”"
Thomas may not be as tough as Dante Hall, who was a kick returner extraordinaire for the Chiefs from 2000 to 2006. Although DAT is the same height as Dante, he weighs ten pounds less. And perhaps is ten pounds more fragile.
In any event, the Chiefs need Thomas to succeed this year. He can help the Chiefs win the field position game too. Punter Dustin Colquitt is excellent, but if DAT can utilize his speed and quickness to extend the field position several times per game it would be huge. Not to mention his abilities as a running back and a wideout… or Speedy-Gonzales-decoy.
Last offseason when Andy Reid announced that DAT was going to move to wide receiver, I thought he could possibly be their number two wide receiver, or at least their permanent slot. Since DAT’s concussion, I’ll be glad to see him make a few game time appearances on offense and then handle most of the punt returns.
De’Anthony Thomas can be a difference maker. Let’s hope he makes a difference this season.
Next: Aaron Murray to be the backup QB?