Last year, when Lions receiver Nate Burleson literally broke a leg, the team hoped Mike Thomas figuratively would.
Thomas, traded from Jacksonville to Detroit after Burleson went down for the season, had a measly five catches for 28 yards in nine games with the Lions last year.
Now with a chance to prepare for the season in lieu of becoming a new tire attached to a moving car, Thomas is confident that his performance will improve.
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable with what’s going on,” Thomas said last week, via the team’s official website. “Now it’s just about competing and getting the reps in and getting familiar with all the things we do as receivers.”
Competing is the key. The Lions have 13 receivers on the roster. Seven or eight of them will be cut.
“We have a lot of guys here and a lot of competition, which is always good,” Thomas said. “Competition always brings out the best in you. We embrace it and have fun with it and we’re just going to have to see how everything turns out.”
Before it can turn out with Thomas playing like he once did with the Jaguars, he’ll have to make the team.