New York Giants
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The way Devin Thomas talks about Mike Shanahan, you’d think the ‘Skins coach never cut him.
The Redskins drafted Thomas with their first pick in 2008 (in the 2nd round). But Shanahan cut Thomas last October, a few weeks into his first season as coach in D.C.
Thomas was then picked up by the Carolina Panthers, who dropped him just six weeks later.
The Giants picked up a humbled Thomas the day after Carolina cut him in a move that immediate dividends.
In his Giants’ debut on Dec. 5 against the Redskins, Thomas finished with two special teams tackles, a downed Matt Dodge punt inside the Redskins’ 5 and a blocked punt.
You'd think it would have been all the more satisfying to do it against Washington, but insisted on Wednesday it was nothing personal.
Even though Shanahan sent him packing, Thomas has nothing but respect for his former coach.
“I still got a lot of respect for him and still take heed to the things I learned from him,” Thomas said. “He has always been a coach that I dreamed of playing for. I picked up everything I could learn from him. I apply it now and it is helping me a lot.”
That’s a far cry from calling Washington the “Deadskins” - which Thomas did last month. He insisted on Wednesday that it was “all in good fun.”
Fun is something Shanahan hinted that Thomas may have been having too much of during his time as a Redskin.
He recalled a conversation with Thomas, then a Redskin, in which he told the young wideout that football “can’t be a part-time job.”
Thomas says he has taken those words and implemented them into his approach to the game. We’ll find out if the message has gotten through on Sunday, when he'll be counted on to do the dirty work on special teams as the Giants’ fifth receiver.
Shanahan wishes Thomas nothing but the best in the future - after Sunday, that is.
“He’s a really good person and he’s got a lot of ability,” Shanahan said. “I’m going to wish him well because I’m fond of the guy - the way he handled himself, how hard he worked. I’m just not going to wish him luck this weekend.”