- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas out to change some perceptions about his future
MOBILE, Ala. – At one point during a Sunday meeting with representatives of a team he refused to name, Logan Thomas was asked if he would consider playing a different position in the NFL – say, perhaps, tight end.
“I just disregard it right off the top, really,” Thomas said. “I said, ‘I’d probably just tell you, ‘No, thank you. I’ll just take my chances elsewhere.’”
That the question surfaced is both an indictment of Thomas‘ ability and a testament to his resilience. His inconsistency is part of the reason why Virginia Tech had only eight wins this season and did not finish ranked in the polls for the second consecutive year.
Thomas knows there are concerns about his ability to play the position, especially in the NFL. As he proceeds through a week of Senior Bowl practices leading up to Saturday’s collegiate all-star game, he also knows he alone can shape the way he’ll be perceived.
“This opportunity that I have here is huge for me,” Thomas said. “It says I can showcase [myself] against the best in the country.”
After considering leaving Virginia Tech for the NFL after his junior season, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Thomas decided to return, hoping another year in college would refine his fundamentals. His biggest leaps this past season, he said, were mental, which he said was in part because of his work with first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
When Loeffler began working with Thomas, one of his goals was to cut down on the quarterback’s interceptions. He threw 13 this season, roughly double the intended goal, but completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 2,907 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Still, his inconsistency followed. For every well-thrown pass, Thomas had a knack for sending another well over his intended receiver. Part of that was the inexperience of his teammates; another part stemmed from the decisions he made.
“I couldn’t tell that in three days,” said Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas, whose staff has been assigned to work with the North Team. “I couldn’t speak on his college experience, if you will. You just try to work consistency, timing and placement. That’s your emphasis. Those are your teaching points.”
Focusing more on the fundamentals has been Logan Thomas‘ goal. He has been training in San Diego with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield, whose unconventional tactics have helped players such as Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton prepare for the challenges of the professional game.
One drill, in which Whitfield rifles bean bags at his quarterbacks, has been of particular help to Thomas. The goal is to make him uncomfortable in the pocket by simulating a pass rush, but not so uncomfortable he’s rattled and has to scramble to make an off-schedule play.
“He’s tough,” said Kareem Martin, a defensive end who played against Thomas three times at North Carolina and is also on the North Team. “You can get off the edge free and it’s not a guaranteed sack. You know, I’ve seen him shrug off guys who are 280 pounds … [and] it’s tough because [he doesn’t] go down easy. It’s like tackling yourself.”
In recent years, teams have drafted quarterbacks to start immediately, which may not apply to Thomas. It’s early, but he’s currently projected as a third-day, mid-round pick, which would give him a chance to learn a system as a backup and adapt to the professional game.
“I honestly believe the perfect world, for him, would be to go to a guy who’s an established veteran at the end of his career, be able to watch how the NFL works and watch how the system works and, most importantly, watch how a veteran runs a team,” Loeffler said. “I really honestly believe that if he gets in a good NFL situation, he’s going to be able to learn and continue to change and continue to be able to develop, and he’s going to be a starter someday in the NFL.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- As Wizards head into postseason, Otto Porter's role remains a mystery
- Wizards climbing back to respectability with first playoff appearance in six years
- Without LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Heat pummeled by Wizards
- Wizards know from experience all possible playoff foes are beatable
- Wizards' defense smothers Bucks late in 104-91 victory
Latest Blog Entries
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.