Daniel Thomas may get left behind in Miami

Reuters

The Dolphins may rely on Reggie Bush as an every-down back because they have no choice.

Rookie Daniel Thomas, once expected to split carries or more with Bush, has struggled to pick up the Dolphins offense.  He was chewed out for running tentatively at the goal line in the team’s second preseason game, and then barely played with the starters in the third game.

Pass blocking has been an issue for the second round pick.

“In the beginning it was overwhelming a little bit,” coach Tony Sparano said via the Palm Beach Post when asked about Thomas’ blocking. “But ‘Nix’ [running backs coach Jeff Nixon] has brought him along and he stepped in there pretty good three or four times today.”

Bringing in Larry Johnson may not have been the greatest sign for Thomas.  There have been numerous reports the Dolphins haven’t been happy with Thomas “tip-toeing” behind the line of scrimmage.

Sparano talked in the offseason about returning to a run-first approach.  It’s hard to see that happening with Bush and Thomas at the helm.

We know Reggie is getting a lot of positive press, but he didn’t consistently excel on a much better offense in New Orleans.

Dolphins fans may wind up missing the days of Ricky and Ronnie.

65 responses to “Daniel Thomas may get left behind in Miami

  1. Very unclear on why they didn’t keep at least Ricky OR Ronnie. It’s not like they had such a great RB waiting in the wings. Would have been smart to say keep Ronnie Brown AND draft some help AND pick up Reggie Bush for 3rd down.

    Plus, as is playing out in preseason, the reason for the anemic running production last year probably wasn’t Ronnie and Ricky’s fault as much as it was the OL’s and that hasn’t been fixed in the least.

  2. Wasn’t Daniel Thomas the sleeper everyone was talking about for fantasy… Kind of tough to do anything for fantasy on the practice squad

  3. I still think they should have drafted Mallett rather than move up for Thomas. Henne looks good so far but there is no back-up plan and if he fails, there is no way he can stay . The Thomas hype baffled me and so did letting Ricky and Ronnie go. Johnson is not an answer and shouldn’t make the team. I hope they can find a decent runner that gets cut somewhere. The Bush signing was a good move regardless, but he is not a workhorse and everybody knows it. The Dolphins should have signed Brown and gotten some more line help along with Bush. The Dolphins can be a good team this year but a lot of things have to go their way.

  4. We are going to see how good ronnie can be this year behind a decent line.

    Thomas will end up being good, having all 3 would have been a nice looking RB core.

  5. A run-first offense in a passing league. I hope everyone is getting their resumes out – they’ll all be needing them by the end of the year.

  6. As a phin fan I would have loved for them to have kept either Ricky or Ronnie and added Reggie. They should have drafted Mallet dammit!! Oh well…

    On a side note, met Reggie at the Fountain Bleu, cool dude.

  7. this guy has had like hardly any real time to learn the system.he’s got a ton of upside. he just needs to get comfortable with everyone around him and what his duties are and he’ll be o.k.

  8. And us Eagles fans thank them for Ronnie

    ______________________________

    He won’t run any better behind your line seabreeze.

  9. Should have kept ricky. He’s a strong rusher and His pass blocking is unbelievable…did u see that block he had in Baltimores last preseason game??? Flacco completed a long pass ONLY because Ricky completely Blasted a rushing d lineman

  10. anytime you bring in a player that has been out of the league awhile it’s a bad to all the rbs on the roster.

  11. jacunn2000 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 3:39 PM
    Reggie Bush, every down RB?? Ouch.. I see 2.5 yds per carry in his future.

    ———————————————————
    So you are expecting him to have a good year? At least by his account?

  12. Wow they traded up to the second round to get this guy. And now he’s not playing. Makes the choice of NOT drafting Ryan Mallett even tougher to take. Has anyone noticed that Jeff Ireland has been awesome at drafting/signing defensive players and has been horrible at signing/drafting offensive players??? What gives??

    Defensive Hits: Davis, Smith, Langford, Dansby, Burnett, Misi, Wake, Rashad Jones, Merling,Jason Ferguson, Jared Odrick and more

    Defensive Misses: Gibril Wilson

    Offensive Hits: Chad Henne (maybe), Jake Long, Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline (decent at best) , Incognito, Polite, Bess, Chad Pennington.

    Offensive Misses: Pat White, Patrick Turner, Justin Smiley, Ernest Wilford, Josh McCown, Joe Berger, Jake Grove, John Nalbone, Andrew Gardner, John Jerry, Mat Moore, Daniel Thomas, Shawn Murphy, Donald Thomas, Marc Colombo and more.

    Jury is still out on Pouncey, Gates and Clay.

  13. The LOLphins are stuck with Bush and Johnson?? They’re planning to give Bush the ball 20 times a game? He won’t last 3 games before he gets injured.

  14. “The Head Coach needs to go for petes sake, he is destroying the Dolphins……”

    You’re making it sound like there was anyrhing left to destroy in the first place.

  15. There is no way he ends up on the practice squad someone will pick him up. Wow a rookie 2nd rd running back struggling with blocking. Never heard that before. Bush won’t last all season. Thomas will be a solid back by mid season. There is no way he doesn’t make the team. I’m not saying he will ever be a 1,300 yard 15td back, but a 800-1100 total yards 6-9 tds I could see down the road. L.Johnson is finished, and has a horrible attitude. They should have kept Ricky to show Thomas how to be a productive back. I say Williams because Ronnie Brown would have been rehabbing another injury for most of the season. Is it fair to call Ronnie Brown a bust? Number 2 overall pick who hasn’t done squat. Same boat as Bush if you ask me. Only difference is Brown actually had talent just no heart. Bush has neither.

  16. @FACTED
    Really?? Thats what you think they should have done?? Maybe they could have kept all those guys AND brought in Marion Barber AND Willis McGahee AND Deangelo Williams. You really think Ronnie AND Ricky AND Daniel Thomas AND Reggie Bush would have coexisted with no problems? Im sure Reggie Bush who left the Saints because he didnt feel he was used enough would love that. He left a superbowl contender to play for the crappy dolphins and be a 3rd down back… yea that would have went over like a fart in church.

  17. Glad i didnt draft this guy in my fantasy dynasty draft… Oh wait am i being a sick human being for not praying for daniel thomas to have success?

  18. CJ: Did you read this article? Daniel Thomas hasn’t panned out. They brought in Larry Johnson. He’s a 2nd round pick (we moved up for) that’s now just a backup. Possibly a 3rd stringer. Sheesh is right.

  19. The whole reggie bush experiment had me scratching my head from the beginning.

    Darren Sproles was cheaper, better, and a UFA. Congrats Saints for getting rid of an underperforming, overpaid name player and picking up his replacement on the cheap.

    Dolphins continue to make questionable decisions.

  20. I’m not defending Sparano and Ireland by any means, but the fact that they keep saying Bush is going to be their every-down back doesn’t mean they’re crazy. To me it indicates that they’re going to have a lot more shotgun formations where Bush can stay in to block and can also take the handoff in situations where the defense should be expecting pass. Henne has already said they’re “letting” him run from shotgun a lot more than last year. It makes plenty of sense, and it doesn’t mean they’re going to slam Bush between the tackles every play and get him knocked out by the third quarter of week one.

  21. nflphan, John Smiley was not a miss, he was actually really good for the years he was not injured. Injured players shouldn’t count as a bust and it’s out of Ireland’s hands. Josh McCown was traded as soon as Chad Pennington became available. Joe Berger was signed to serve as a backup, never to start, same goes for Matt Moore. As far as the late rounders (John Naldone, Andrew Gardner, Shawn Murphy) were considered projects (4th or 5th rd pick); however, they’ve lost their spot to other players discovered by Ireland. It’s not like were had to draft a 2nd or 3rd round pick to replace them.

    John Jerry is too early to judge and Colombo has played a down in the regular season, but I think he’ll be a good backup.

    As far as the real misses on offense, it has been Pat White, Jake Grove and Ernest Wilfork. The reason MIA has had better luck at Defense is due to the fact that they have dedicated more early rounders to that side. This was actually the first draft they dedicated most of the picks to the Offense.

    And it’s very early call Daniel Thomas a bust.

  22. “Offensive Misses: Pat White, Patrick Turner, Justin Smiley, Ernest Wilford, Josh McCown, Joe Berger, Jake Grove, John Nalbone, Andrew Gardner, John Jerry, Mat Moore, Daniel Thomas, Shawn Murphy, Donald Thomas, Marc Colombo and more.”

    You missed Ted Ginn Jr.

  23. We are going to see how good ronnie can be this year behind a decent line.

    Eagles o-line could be worse than the Dolphins so I’d imagine Ronnie doesn’t fare to well.

  24. “ottomanismydog says:Sep 1, 2011 3:44 PM Run first offense with Reggie Bush running between tackles + Chad Henne under center + Unproven players on Defense = Andrew Luck”

    That would be assuming the Dolphins draft a QB in the first, which they won’t do.

    NO player is worth taking in the first except for linemen, right Ireland? :facepalm:

  25. The Dolphins have a habit of passing up or giving up good players. Giving up Ronnie Brown was a huge mistake, Armstrong (WR) once with the Dolphins is starting for the Redskins. Drew Brees could have been a Dolphin but the regime at the time chose Donte Culpepper. Wes Welker was a Dolphin but got traded for much less than he was worth. It seems that ever since Shula left the team has had trouble identifying talent or being impatient with players. The Dolphins are now trying to change their one dimensional and predictable offense. A good idea; “Run Ricky Run” and “Run Ronnie Run” just did not work.
    I hope the current regime has figured out why.
    Well maybe not because giving up Brown was a mistake the Dolphins will most likely regret.

  26. Ronnie will look good on the Eagles. Hes the back up. Also every defense they face has to worry about Vick, DJAX, JMaC, and Celek. The last guy they will worry about is a back up rb. That is the reason McCoy tore it up last year. Defenses never ever keyed in on him.

  27. The left side of the line is solid when Jake is playing. The right side is garbage right now partly because Carey moved over and Columbo is starting. Pouncey is a rookie but has to be considered a big upgrade so far. All it takes is for one guy to step up on that side. (one injury is a huge issue as well) Murtha at RT maybe? I don’t know. I know I don’t like Columbo as a starter right now. It is early to cast off Thomas. I like Henne in the shotgun with Bush on the field as a safety valve. Having either Ronnie or Ricky would make the RBs solid. There may be a guy that a team tries to hide on the practice squad so there is still hope at RB even if Thomas continues to suck. They really need to look for a quality guard/center out there even if he is on the wrong side of 33. If the o-line can gel then the Dolphins can have a fairly solid year. The defense is very good and if they increase the turnovers…

  28. Thomas has been a pro for 1 month…lets not call him a bust just yet.

    Eagles fans will have their hearts broke by Ronnie Brown. One rush – ALL-PRO, next rush – dancing in the hole. Brown is a bust. No. 2 overall…c’mon.

  29. Reggie Bush couldn’t excel behind the Saints OL with a mastermind offensive guru like Payton. No way in the world would he be able to with the Fins. Bush will never make the Pro Bowl.

  30. Ricky and Ronnie were all they had for years, and there was no decline. They crippled Henne with the wildcat and Pennington and the most conservative approach to offense since “The Waterboy”.

    I was a season ticket holder for 5 years. Parcells usual edict, get large and strong on the lines and get guys that eat/sleep football was a step in the right direction from the post-Marino years doldrums, but I truly believe Sparano and Ireland should go. At least the new owner is star struck, maybe we’ll get a big name. Personally, I’ll take Jeff Fisher’s brand of old school over an unproven, over-his-head Sparano anyday. Brian Billick… anyone.

    Ireland has embarrassed the franchise on multiple occasions and continues to not be a people person. His reputation amongst players will certainly keep Miami limited in their free agent aquisitions while he’s here. He craps on outgoing players, insults prospects, and alienates the fans with moves like getting Bush and some guy, and letting two proven, affordable, multi-tooled workhorses get away to superior teams.

    Good thing my family is from Detroit, and I’ve always been a Lion fan, at least there is promise there. I adopted the Fins, so I hope things get better soon. At least Shula was 10-6 with a playoff appearance every year, Marino kept it entertaining. Ever see how the Dolphins win these days? Flys doing the nasty on a windowsil is more entertaining.

  31. Makes you miss the days when we had Ricky, Ronnie, Patrick Cobbs (bona fide starter in this league) and Lex Hilliard in the wings.

    Lex should beat out Don Thom and Larry Johnson for the backup spot.

  32. Scott says:Sep 1, 2011 5:54 PM

    Thomas has been a pro for 1 month…lets not call him a bust just yet.

    Eagles fans will have their hearts broke by Ronnie Brown. One rush – ALL-PRO, next rush – dancing in the hole. Brown is a bust. No. 2 overall…c’mon.

    ————————————-

    Brown is our backup, not starter. If he gives the Eagles an All-pro run every 2nd play that’s more than i expect out of a backup.

  33. You watch, we may end up with Lousaka Polite running the ball for us. Just like the days of Jimmy Johnson preaching run first when all we had after injuries and busts was Stanley Pritchett.

  34. Just a bunch of butt-hurt wahhh babies in here. Ricky = 35 years old. He is not carrying the load. Ronnie did just as much dancing behind the line. He was a Phin for 5 years. Only completed TWO seasons and ONLY ONE for over 1k yards. That =’s a bust for a 2nd overall selection. That and he wanted a long term deal to stay on the Dolphins not the one year thing he signed in Philly. Philly has no o-line. Ronnie will get maybe 500 -600 yards that’s about all he is good for IF he can stay healthy. I really hate you fair weather so called Dolphin fans. You are the best example of the worst fan base ever.

  35. letting R&R go was insane when you’ve got much more urgent issues like needing huge O line and QB improvement…

    they spent millions to swap a two back system that was getting about 4 yards per carry with terrible blocking….. and they got a guy who cant run the middle and has been out half the games in the last 3 years….

    last year Ricky was getting 4.2 yards and cornerbacks and OLs were afraid to take him on when he was blocking… how is getting rid of a guy like that helping?

  36. News Flash: Thomas is playing well in the Miami preseason game.

    Considering this kid has had ZERO OTAs, limited preseason and is playing behind a battered and suspect line.

    People suggesting he is a bust…heck, or ever a disappointment…should have their heads examined.

  37. “Wes Welker was a Dolphin but got traded for much less than he was worth. ”

    I had to address this because the assertion being made is ludicrous. Wes Welker was a restricted free agent that offseason and the Patriots signed him to a massive poison-pill containing contract similar to the one Hutchinson/Burleson signed. Basically, if Welker played more than 3 games in Miami in a season his contract became fully guaranteed with incentives vesting (the last part may be incorrect but I know it would have become fully guaranteed.)

    Anyway, the Dolphins ended up trading him to the Patriots for a 2nd round pick which worked out for both teams as the Dolphins got a valuable draft pick and the Patriots didn’t have to deal with that huge contract. He was an undrafted player so to get a 2nd for him was a great deal.

    Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and Welker has been extremely productive but at the time the Dolphins didn’t really have a choice. This was actually one of the only examples of the Dolphins making the right decision, so I found it ironic that you would use it to prove that point.

  38. “sclazo says: I really hate you fair weather so called Dolphin fans. You are the best example of the worst fan base ever.”

    I could not POSSIBLY agree with you more. As a Dolphin fan since the early 70s, I have never, ever seen fan base that is as inarticulate, disloyal and downright pathetic.

    There’s not even a close second.

  39. phillyphever says:Sep 1, 2011 5:00 PM

    “Offensive Misses: Pat White, Patrick Turner, Justin Smiley, Ernest Wilford, Josh McCown, Joe Berger, Jake Grove, John Nalbone, Andrew Gardner, John Jerry, Mat Moore, Daniel Thomas, Shawn Murphy, Donald Thomas, Marc Colombo and more.”

    You missed Ted Ginn Jr.

    Was drafted by Cameron not the current regime. Name me ONE NFL team that has hit 100% on the draft please. NAME ONE!

  40. Bush & Johnson? Brilliant!
    Ohhhhh that crafty marketing team in Miami is going for the gold this season!!!

  41. Look!!! Daniel Thomas is not a bust because I could clearly see by all his highlights he wasnt even good in college!!!!!

    He falls down on contact every time! if theres a hole he can gain good yardage but in that case every back even my neice can do!!

    When we drafted him i went to go look at his highlights immidiately to see exactly who we got and if hes great..and i was so disappointed when I saw every carry!! all his yardage was not from YAC!!! I knew at that moment we had a garbage pick!

    Now look at him in preseason!! cant break a tackle!!

    slow!!

    Distrot!!

    Who evaluates talent for the Dolphins?? This is ridiculous!!

    DANIEL THOMAS IS NOT A BUST!! You first have to be a great player before drafted to have high expectations!

    The moment i saw his Youtube videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCsgxRveJjg I saw he is a crash jensen!! falls when contacts made!

    This makes me sick what we could of actually had if we didnt have the 3 stooges as our forefront!

  42. You mentione Wes Welker!

    he was once our all around guy! he even kicked a field goal for us! I knew he was special and what did the Dolphins front office do? trade him within the division!!

    That shows what type of orginization we been dealing with! No team trades a skill position within the division especially the freakin Pats!!

    Now hes Bradys go to guy and they had that undefeated season with him! Best slot in the game!

    Whats next? trade bess to the Jets!??

    This team needs an owner that has a backbone and knows the game!

  43. lostsok says:
    Sep 1, 2011 9:21 PM
    “sclazo says: I really hate you fair weather so called Dolphin fans. You are the best example of the worst fan base ever.”

    I could not POSSIBLY agree with you more. As a Dolphin fan since the early 70s, I have never, ever seen fan base that is as inarticulate, disloyal and downright pathetic.

    There’s not even a close second.
    ————-

    Ditto that, very sad to agree with you here, but absolutely true.

  44. Ahhh… the bonehead moves of Ireland may show early on. Damn shame we didnt keep Ronie. but then again, he did get stiffed out of a bonus. keep up the good work jerk G.M.

  45. Played a pretty good 4th pre season game. But you won’t hear anything about that right? Don’t have anything to feed the cry babies right?

  46. @ tupacdan This regime had nothing to do with the Wes Welker trade. That was during the Cameron period. You know the bozo that brought us the Ted Ginn Family? If you where a true Dolfan I think you would know this already. If you where a true fan you would know about the poison pill deal the Patsies did on a restricted free agent. Also Saban is the one that told his buddy Bilacheat to go get Welker any way possible. Saban, Wannstache, and Cameron tore this franchise down to a 1-15 team. The current regime has done a damn good job getting back to competitive again and possibly a winner. Do us a favor and find a different team to band wagon on OK.

  47. We are going to see how good ronnie can be this year behind a decent line.

    ————————————————————–

    How so? I was under the impression he had signed with the Eagles.

  48. Thomas had a decent game and deserves credit. Johnson broke a good TD run but I hope they don’t get too excited about that. If the O-line gets better, much of the “struggles” will be fixed.

  49. Welker was clearly a strong, durable slot receiver when he was with the Phins…. at a time when they had zero WR talent… it was insane to deal him to NE and most commentary at the time agreed.

    the Phins have made a career of trading strong role players away and ignoring or making foolish decisions on core needs…. the basic needs are still the same as the year Marino retired… O line and QB….

    This habit makes it all the more amazing that Ireland still has a job….

  50. That’s ridiculous conjecture and in keeping with the doom and gloomers now piling on a team with an upgraded version of the 6th best defense last season and a bad homer ref call away from being .500 at the least.

    LJ has taken the pressure off Thomas to perform immediately so he can be brought along more slowly. He’s shown more than enough upside, coupled with his high draft selection and the certainty that he’d be snapped up from the PS by a team with a more cohesive front line that it’s nothing more than inflammatory speculation some morons have pulled out of their azzes, that he won’t be carried on the roster. Move on, there’s nothing to see here

  51. oldhamletman says: “This habit makes it all the more amazing that Ireland still has a job”

    No more amazing than a fan blaming Ireland for a deal that occurred more than a year before he took the job.

    sclazo says: “Played a pretty good 4th pre season game. But you won’t hear anything about that right?”

    Pretty much. The “media” picks a team or two every year, where they feel the coach or front office has a good chance of being fired… and they magnify every bit of news (with as many negative connotations as is possible) early every season. They make it a “blow by blow” description rivaling the Bataan death march. The media in it’s infinite wisdom has chosen Miami as one of those teams this year. I think they stand a lot better than average chance of being badly wrong about the Dolphins, who are a much tougher team than I think they get credit for… but that won’t matter either. If it proves true… there will be tons of stories about how EVERYONE is shocked about the “feel good” story Dolphins, whom no one thought… blah blah blah. The amazing ridiculous predictions of 4 wins, etc… by idiots like Peter King, Miker Greenberg, and Mike Golic, will be swept under the rug – never to be mentioned again… and if they are called on it later – you’ll here a lot about how the CW (conventional wisdom) at the time was….

    Its a racket. Good work if you can find it. lol

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