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CHARGERS: DT Thomas works to shed bad rap

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    BY DAN HAYES - dhayes@nctimes.com North County Times - Californian | Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    SAN DIEGO -- Two plays into the first preseason game of his NFL career, Chargers rookie Cam Thomas accomplished something most NFL analysts believed him incapable of doing: pressuring the quarterback.

    On the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, the rookie defensive tackle beat a pair of Chicago Bears offensive linemen and nearly reached quarterback Caleb Hanie, who in his haste rushed a pass that was intercepted.

    Granted, Thomas was facing mostly second- and third-string players in the second half of the Chargers' 25-10 exhibition victory on Saturday. But Thomas's dominant play definitely caught the attention of his coaches and teammates. The rookie finished with three tackles, including a sack, a forced fumble and two deflected passes. He did all this in just 21 plays.

    The showing is just one in a series of tests that the fifth-round choice out of North Carolina must pass to dispel the notion that he'll be able to do little more than serve as a run stuffer in the NFL

    That theory was largely responsible for Thomas' descent on draft day. He was regarded as a potential second-round pick, but the Chargers found him available with the 146th overall pick.

    "You can't listen to what people say," Thomas said. "At the end of the day, it's what the owners, the president (and coaches) say. I can't go with what the analysts say. Wherever I went, I was happy to get drafted.

    "(Scouts) who messed up on me, it is what it is. I can't dwell on the past."

    On Tuesday, head coach Norv Turner issued Thomas a new challenge. Impressed by the 6-foot-4, 335-pounder's play and work ethic, Turner declared that Thomas will take snaps with the first-string defense against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.

    "He had a great game," Turner said. "But I've been more impressed by how he has practiced. He's developing some good inside pass-rushing moves. The first test for a young guy is to get him 30 snaps in the second half. In the next game, we'll push him up, test him out against the starters and see how he handles that."

    Thus far, general manager A.J. Smith said Thomas has addressed some of the question marks surrounding his work ethic. In his pre-draft evaluations, Smith said he was aware that Thomas had at times been inconsistent in his play. But Smith also saw an extremely talented physical specimen, one he couldn't afford to pass up.

    "The only concern we had was that inconsistent play in college detracted from his immense talent," Smith said. "That inconsistency had to disappear, and so far it has. We like everything we've seen in terms of work ethic in the offseason, training camp and in the first preseason game. The arrow's definitely pointing up, heading into the Dallas game."

    Thomas said going head-to-head with Pro Bowl linemen Kris Dielman and Nick Hardwick in training camp have prepared him. After overcoming some early jitters Saturday -- not that they were evident -- Thomas said he is feeling confident.

    "He's got a lot of special abilities that can't be taught," Hardwick said. "He's huge. He's fast. He moves well. He seems to have really good football instincts.
    "He's a ballplayer."

    Thomas said he isn't motivated by scouts -- his scouting report on NFL.com says he "lacks great quickness, lateral agility and speed," and is "clearly a two-down player." He only cares what his coaches and teammates think.

    He believes he can make an impact in the passing game. But even after he made a solid first impression, Thomas knows he has more challenges to meet.
    "That's what they brought me in here for, to take on two guys and make a play or something," Thomas said. "Push the pocket, and that's what I helped do.

    "I'm never satisfied. If you have a good game, you can't be content with that. I'm never satisfied. I just want to keep growing each and every day."
     
  2. Helmutt

    Helmutt BoltTalker

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    Good story... I hope Thomas is one of those guys who proves the scouts wrong.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    He was very inconsistent in college, often looked like he really didn't care to put in the effort. I sincerely hope that making it to this level will light a fire under his ***. Goodness knows we need a force in the middle of this DL now that Jamal is gone.
     
  4. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Got to love those Carolina boy's. Carolina also sent more boy's into the effort against Northern Aggression.
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    But Virginia sent Lee. And Jackson. And Stuart. :yes:

    Wait a minute .... weren't we talking football? :lol:

    The War of Northern Aggression requires it's own thread. And a different forum.
     
  6. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    I really hope he's the guy.

    We stuffed the run against the Bears so let's see what happens against Dallas.
     
  7. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Yes it does deserve it's own thread.

    I intentionally called it the "effort" as I knew only a certain few would understand.

    Someday the truth will be told!!!!!:yes:
     
  8. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    The stakes weren't so high in college and he could get along with his ability. This is do or die time with the pros.
     
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  9. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    RC not sure you wanna keep VJ as your adopt a bolt this year....:no: :lol:

    THAT'S tough to defend.
     
  10. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Thomas looks to make first-half impression

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE
    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 9:48 p.m.

    Nice job, kid. Now do it against some real competition.

    That’s essentially what the Chargers are saying to Cam Thomas, as the rookie tackle prepares for his second game as an NFL defensive lineman.

    “He helped himself,” head coach Norv Turner said of Thomas’ debut last Saturday. “Any time you have a game like he did, you help yourself. Now he’s going to get some reps.”

    What Turner meant is that Thomas will get some reps in the first half against a good offensive line.

    In the exhibition opener, Thomas got a third-quarter pressure by pushing backup center Josh Beekman backward toward Bears quarterback Caleb Haine, then moving around Beekman and reaching into Haine’s grill, rushing a pass that was well short of the intended receiver and sailed into the hands of Chargers safety Paul Oliver.

    In the fourth quarter, Thomas lined up on the left guard’s outside shoulder and blew past the fourth-stringer, dropped quarterback Dan LeFevour and forced a fumble in the process.

    “It felt the way I thought it would, but faster,” Thomas said. “Everything up here is anther step faster.”

    Thomas came into the NFL via the fifth round of April’s draft, having fallen that far despite having the wonderful combination of size (330 pounds) and athleticism.

    The knock was on his consistency. The Chargers have been impressed with everything about him and want to have him line up at nose tackle for them as many snaps as possible once the season starts.

    But they need to see what he can do over an extended period against the kind of players he’ll face in the season.

    “We intentionally held him out of the first half (against Chicago),” Turner said. “He’ll get some reps in the first half this week. We’ll see him against their (starting) offensive line.”

    Said Thomas: “I can’t wait. It went good, but I’m just ready to get in with the ones, show what I can do. Switch that over to the ones, keep my game up.”
     
  12. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Cam Thomas with the 1s and a strong Rivera blitz attack today. Sounds good to me.
     

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