DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins second-year guard Dallas Thomas has been one of the most improved players this year during the offseason program. Thomas, a 2013 third-round pick, is currently the starting left guard.
Thomas spent some time with ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog this week to talk about what changed in his game and potentially winning the starting job in 2014.
What has been the biggest difference for you this year compared to last season?
Thomas: Just getting healthy and getting my body right. That was the biggest thing -- and knowing the playbook. I struggled with that last year. I didn’t know what I was doing. So know I know what I’m doing.
Last year you were at guard one week, tackle the next week. How much has staying at one position, left guard, helped your development?
Thomas: It helps a lot because now you have a home, you know. You have a place where you just really sit down, focus and go over what you need to go over to get better.
What specifically did you change to get your body right?
Thomas: It was everything. [Last year] I was real big, but I had a lot of fat on me. I wanted to lose fat and put more muscle on. So I got with a nutritionist and leaned up and got it right. I’m 315 pounds and it’s night and day. I feel much better, because you gotta move and make those tough blocks to the linebacker. It’s about getting my body right and putting in the time to learn what’s going on on the field.
How have they changed your diet?
Thomas: I still eat carbs. But everything I do is lean. It’s going to be lean meat, lean meat. I try to eat a lot of chicken, fish. I still get my steaks in, but it’s going to be lean. If I get some beef, it’s going to be the 89 percent lean instead of the 83 percent. Last year I was [eating] it all, just going at it.
What are your thoughts on being reunited with former college teammate Ja'Wuan James, who started with you at the University of Tennessee?
Thomas: You know, that’s my boy. We were tight when we were in college and we’re still tight to this day. The team had asked me about him [during the scouting process]. But I didn’t think anything of it, because that never happens in the NFL that you play with your close college teammate. So I told the Dolphins that he’s a good guy, but I never thought he would be here.