Second-round pick Devin Thomas spoke after the special teams practice today about his hamstring injury and Jim Zorn’s revelation that he and fellow rookie WR Malcolm Kelly didn’t pass the conditioning test at the onset of training camp. Thomas thinks he will be back practicing at full speed by the end of this week with an eye toward making his preseason debut in the team’s third preseason game , Aug. 16 at the New York Jets.
ON THE INJURY:
THOMAS: “I can’t really put a number. It is not really about when I feel ready, it is about when it is the smartest time to make a move on it. Being a hamstring, it is something that could feel fine and then when you go out there full speed, you tear it up again. I just have to be patient.”
Q: COACH ZORN SAID HE THOUGHT YOU AND MALCOLM KELLY FOUND OUT YOU’LL NEED TO DO MORE CONDITIONING NEXT OFFSEASON — DO YOU AGREE?
THOMAS: “I’ll probably do some extra things so my legs are loose and ready to run when training camp starts right away. It was an eye opener, so I definitely will be even better prepared next year.”
Q: DO YOU THINK YOU DID ENOUGH THIS OFFSEASON?
THOMAS: “I feel like you can always do more, whether it is preparing for a test or coming in for training camp. I feel like I did a good job preparing. It was just a deal where I pulled my hamstring from not stretching enough while it was getting tight. I need to be more careful with that.”
Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT COACH ZORN TELLING US THAT YOU AND MALCOLM KELLY FAILED THE CONDITIONING TEST AND THE PRECEPTION THAT YOU WEREN’T PREPARED FOR CAMP?
THOMAS: “I don’t think that is a fair thing to say. We came in prepared enough to do what we could do. We had a lot of other distractions going on as far as becoming a rookie. But as far as being in shape, we were in shape – it was just a tough deal that we both got hurt.”
Q: WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU FAILED THE TEST?
THOMAS: “I was surprised. It is a test with 300 yards and you are stopping and going, so it is a little difficult for guys that are 200-plus [pounds]. At the same time, we should have passed it. It is something we will look forward to doing next year, I guess.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE] There are 75 guys on the current roster who were here when camp started and 67 weigh at least 200 pounds. Kelly and Thomas were the only two who did not pass the test. The only other guy who didn’t pass it was 185-pound CB Fred Smoot.
Q: DID YOU THINK YOU WERE PREPARED?
THOMAS: “Definitely – we went through the OTAs and all that stuff. We were in shape; we just couldn’t through the 300-[yard] shuttle. We’re recovering now, and we’ll be ready.”
“It was just a tough deal to do. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it. It was thrown at us pretty fast. … No excuses though – we should have passed it and we continue to try and get in shape each and every day.”
Q: ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO MAKE AN IMPACT RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE OF THE TIME YOU ARE MISSING WITH THE INJURY?
THOMAS: “As far as making an impact from the get go, I don’t think that is going to be a difficult thing to do. I am just so eager to get out there. That’s the hardest part. You see the team out playing last weekend, and it is hard sitting there at home watching the guys knowing that we’ve all been through the same thing together.”