Doesn't think he got a fair shot
While go back over stories from last week I was struck by something I read in the Washington Post last Saturday, it was in the print edition on Sunday, Packers gameday. Receiver Devin Thomas on his release from the Redskins:
Maybe they just don't want a big-play receiver that can do everything.
No Devin I do not think that was it. I think it was more along the lines of maybe they just want a guy that can run a reliable route, catch the ball when it hits his hands and that does not play smaller than his size.
Devin Thomas was former shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato's first draft pick as senior VP of Shit Disturbations in 2008, upon the retirement of Joe Gibbs owner Dan Snyder having fully elevated Vinny to the highest post any executive would prior to the 2009 meltdown and the begging and pleading for new real actual general manager Bruce Allen.
Going into the 2008 draft the Redskins needed, what else? Offensive line and defensive line help, they were old and hurt. Instead they used all three second round picks, two garnered in a big day of trades, on pass catchers, Michigan State receiver Devin Thomas, USC tight end Fred Davis and Oklahoma receiver Malcolm Kelly, the theory here obviously being that with new head coach Jim Zorn's brand of west coast offense that despite the age and lack of talent in other key positions that with all these pass catchers the Redskins could just play their way out of structural weakness.
Devin showed up to his rookie training camp out of shape, could not pass the receiver conditioning test then pulled a hamstring. Better (preseason) receivers were released on Cut Day that year in anticipation of some future performance Devin would be able to achieve.
His rookie year in 2008 with a pass happy new coach looking for a receiver to hang his offensive hat on, Devin started one game and missed six games due to injury, he finished 2008 with a modest fifteen catches for 120 yards and no touchdowns, Devin did find the end zone once in 2008, on a reverse run against the Giants in game twelve, a 23-7 Giants rout in the freezing rain.
Going into 2009 the expectations machine was on high for Devin, so high that I got the sense that team was saying it to make themselves feel it like, looking at that sad piece of trash you married and telling her MAYBE IF WE HAD ANOTHER BABY THAT'D BRING US CLOSER. IN 2009 Devin finished with 25 catches for 325 yards, he started ten games and had three touchdown catches, his notable game, the one that the Devin Thomas apologists latched onto was game twelve against the Super Bowl bound Saints, in a 33-30 loss Devin had seven catches for 100 yards and there was a tiny contingent in Washington that was shouting in little voices HE'S FINALLY ARRIVED.
Arriving in 2010 with a new coach and new general manager Devin had to start all over. All those things that were forgiven about Devin in favor of the upside were brought front and center and Devin was told, like everyone else, that he would have to win his job, that it did not matter where he was drafted or what his potential was, he was going to have to deliver.
They never saw it in Devin, giving 38 year old Joey Galloway and undrafted Anthony Armstrong depth spots ahead of Devin, his last gasp was in the return game and when head coach Mike Shanahan finally decided to take Brandon Banks out of the garage there was no need for a decent kick returner that the team did not trust to run a correct route or catch a ball that hit him in the hands.
In the end Devin lived in Washington for two seasons on potential and exited when he was not able to deliver in real life. I wish it had worked out with Devin, it did not and sadly the Redskins lose nothing without him. I wish Devin the best in Carolina and hope he comes back here with them in 2012 and proves me wrong by having a strong game in a Panthers loss.
It is said in that January meeting for Vinny's promotion that Vinny told Dan he could lead the team, that Dan told Vinny he believed in Vinny but was going to hold Vinny to his pledge to rebuild the team, and he did by firing Vinny in December of 2009. That 2008 draft was already in tatters before the team finally decided to part ways with Devin Thomas.
Devin Thomas: Getty Images from here.