Second-year tailback Daniel Thomas was the 62nd overall pick in last year’s draft. He struggled as a rookie, and the Dolphins switched coaching staffs, offenses, and blocking schemes during the offseason.
They also drafted Lamar Miller in the fourth round, and he’s considered a superior fit for coach Joe Philbin’s new zone-blocking system than Thomas.
“I can’t worry about who they’re drafting,” Thomas told the Miami Herald. “I know I’ve gotten better. The injuries affected me a lot last year. They messed my mind up. I lost the confidence I had. I didn’t have the same burst I had earlier.”
Staying healthy is part of the battle, of course. Thomas averaged 3.52 yards per carry on 165 rushing attempts. He conceded the average was “very disappointing,” and believes he “can average 5.0 a carry in this league.”
Philbin previously mentioned pass protection as one of the primary areas in which Thomas needs to improve.
If Thomas doesn’t make significant strides in year two, it’s fair to wonder whether his roster spot might hang in the balance. Reggie Bush looks entrenched as the starter, Miller is pushing for the No. 2 job, and Steve Slaton would be a workable No. 3. H-back Charles Clay is a lock for the final roster.
Thomas might not be.