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Mike Thomas could be replacing Best as much as Burleson

Mike Thomas AP

When word emerged Tuesday that the Lions had acquired receiver Mike Thomas from the Jaguars for a fifth-round draft pick in 2014, it was assumed that Thomas would replace Nate Burleson, who had been lost eight days earlier with a broken leg.  It could be that the potentially versatile Thomas will be replacing running back Jahvid Best as much as Thomas will be filling Burleson’s shoes.

As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explains it, the five-foot, eight-inch Thomas could play in the slot, from the backfield in a “Jahvid Best-type role,” and as a return specialist.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be out there running around doing something.” Thomas told Birkett. “That’s all I can ask for is just to get out there and have an opportunity to contribute and we’ll see what happens.”

It makes sense if Thomas becomes the new Best.  With Best still on the Physically Unable to Perform list and likely to not play at all this season, the Lions need to move on, at least temporarily.

Given that it’s been more than a year since Best has played since suffering his most recent concussion, it could be time for the Lions to move on from the 2010 first-round pick permanently.

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11 Responses to “Mike Thomas could be replacing Best as much as Burleson”
  1. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 31, 2012 8:23 AM

    Yeah. Mike Thomas can do what Best can do. Hand him the ball and see. What a laugher. Note that I said hand him the ball…dude can’t catch a cold.

  2. dublindemonszfl says: Oct 31, 2012 8:48 AM

    What is wrong with Kevin Smith?? He came in off the street last season and was fantastic, saving the season for the Lions. This year he starts off great and the crappy Lion have him as a “healthy scratch” Schwartz is idiot, Harbaugh should slap him on the arse.

  3. metzgerf says: Oct 31, 2012 9:18 AM

    This article has two dumb comments so far – I feel like I need to offset them with a smart one.

    @johnnyjagfan – I’m sure Thomas “couldn’t catch a cold” when he caught nearly 70 passes for over 800 yards for the Jags a couple years ago, right?? I mean, after all, it’s hard to catch balls lately when they’re NOT THROWN TO YOU.

    @dublindemonszfl – Nothing is wrong with Smith…but he doesn’t have the type of speed and versatility that Best and/or Mike Thomas do. It’s pretty plain to see that. If you put Kevin Smith in the backfield, the defense knows that he’ll either take a hand off or block. If Mike Thomas is in the backfield, the defense has about 4 different things to defend against and they have to hope they choose the right one. Besides, it’s not like Thomas would play RB full time. I would imagine that the Lions would line him up in the backfield only a handful of times per game, at the most. He can take the hand off or he can break into the flat or he can block. He’s a tough dude.

  4. funktron2x says: Oct 31, 2012 9:46 AM

    Come on fellas. Smith is an all-around guy too – he catches it well to go along with being a decent runner, but he won’t ever run away from a defense like Best or Money Mike.

  5. pabrownsfan says: Oct 31, 2012 11:29 AM

    i hope best heals up. He is a damn good player. The best of luck to his backups also.

  6. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 31, 2012 11:35 AM

    Mike Thomas has moves like Jager

  7. mtntrouter says: Oct 31, 2012 12:27 PM

    I really don’t understand this move…You have Leshoure and Bell in the backfield. Leshoure’s problem is that he doesn’t get the ball enough. You have Megatron, Pettigrew, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles. To me, Detroit wasted a draft pick on something they didn’t need. Why not line up Young or Broyles in the backfield and run those plays? Both can run away from a defense with ease. Lions really could use a corner or safety-especially with the health of Delmas. Matt Millen must be in Schwartz’s ear…

  8. toddytd says: Oct 31, 2012 1:22 PM

    Who cares about a 5th round pick, all you have to do to get it back is drop down a few spots in round 3 or 4 which teams do all the time. He is a player who has proven he can play at the NFL level and might help and if he doesnt you gave up basically nothing.

  9. twelsh36446 says: Oct 31, 2012 2:03 PM

    Thomas will do fine no matter where or how they play him. I trust Schwartz and Mathew more than the fan base at making moves lol.

  10. jimmylions says: Oct 31, 2012 2:53 PM

    I thought it was pretty well established that the only reason Best was on the roster this year was so that he could retire as a 3-year veteran, and get an NFL player pension. If that’s the case, the question about whether or not the Lions plan to move on from Best has already been answered.

    I do not see Mike Thomas lining up in the backfield as an RB. I’d be surprised to see him take the ball up the middle, with hopes of breaking loose and turning on his speed.

    The Lions like to run the endaround, and we can run that with pretty much any/all of our WRs including Thomas.

  11. goatcheez says: Nov 2, 2012 2:14 AM

    Mike Thomas isn’t fast though… Not once has he ran away from the defense. He always gets caught. The guy ran fast at the combine/pro-day but on the field runs like he has sand in his shoes. He doesn’t make guys miss either. He’s a possession receiver. That’s it. With a case of the dropsies the past two years. Terrible return man too, they’re going to be very disappointed if they’re counting on him returning kicks or punts. He has one punt return for a TD, only because he illegally signaled fair catch but brought his arm back down quickly against the Colts—refs didn’t catch it—Colts players pulled up, and he raced down the sideline as the Colts and their sideline exploded in complaint. lawwlll. He can be a decent 3rd down possession option, but that’s it.

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