Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

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Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 9:18 am

From Armando:

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2015/05/the-delicate-inabiliy-to-tell-the-truth-about-a-player.html

I present to you today Joe Philbin and his thoughts on Dallas Thomas:

"I think when you really look closely, we've broken down how he plays at guard, how he plays at tackle," Philbin told me this week. "How many sacks at guard? How many sacks at tackle? He had some really good games, too. I think some guys they say, 'Oh but the Baltimore game, oh ah.' Well, we went out to Denver and he blocked a pretty good pass rusher all day and did pretty well. Consistency is one of the things we've been talking to him about, sure, but it's a big year for him."

Look, Philbin is a former offensive line coach. He is an expert on the subject. And there is nothing that convinces me that looking at Thomas at guard has any expert convinced this player will be anything short of a weak link at left guard for the Dolphins in 2015.

Put it this way: Monday was the first OTA session of the offseason with offensive players facing defensive players and vice versa. There were no pads. It was not a contact practice. And yet I saw Thomas crumble in a heap on a run play that got blown up by Earl Mitchell and Olivier Vernon as if he was a junior varsity kid competing in the NFL.

But then again, my agenda is not to mask the truth in the desperate hope that hiding it will keep a player's confidence from being wrecked.

My approach is to expose that truth so that, perhaps, the Dolphins do not settle into a false sense of security that this will somehow be alright. It will not be alright. It has not been alright. It will not be alright unless Thomas is suddenly a completely different dude between now and the start of July's training camp.

It's simply mind-boggling that Philbin keeps making excuses for Dallas Thomas. I don't understand what he's looking at.

Is Philbin is only looking at sacks given up as a measure of how good or bad Thomas is? Fact is, "sacks allowed" isn't the real story with Thomas. When he played guard last year, I saw him consistently getting pushed back by D-linemen. Not all of those plays resulted in a sack or even a QB hurry, but if you're getting pushed back on nearly every play you are losing and not getting the job done. It's clear as day when you see this guy on the field - he's got the sloppiest technique I've ever seen, has no idea how to use leverage, and has no functional strength. The guy is a complete waste of time, and it sickens me to hear Philbin defending him over and over again. Dallas Thomas is NOT an NFL player, and every time he sets foot on the field there's a strong chance that he's going to get his QB killed. Enough of this crap...get him off the field!

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by CarsonChris on Thu May 28, 2015 10:32 am

Why aren't we kicking the tires on Justin Blalock? He's graded negative twice the last 2 years at -1. He is a stop gap Id look at. Clearly Thomas is going to get Tannehill Trent Greened!

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 11:51 am

It amazes me that our only options at left guard are the craptastic Dallas Thomas, a weak, raw rookie Jamil Douglas, or some washed up veteran that no other team wants. Is it really that difficult to find a competent guard????

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by white1 on Thu May 28, 2015 1:09 pm

I'm convinced other teams know he's so bad they don't expose him until they need a play on defense. They load up attacking other areas of the line until the offense is in a key situation, then they exploit him.

This approach will lull us into a false sense of security, then he will be beaten at the most opportune time for the defense.

How many times did it seem like this happened last year?

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Degarmo on Thu May 28, 2015 2:24 pm

I'm convinced that Thomas is the pivot man in a love triangle between himself, Philbin and Aponte.

And now you can't un-see that. Wink
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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 2:42 pm

white1 wrote:I'm convinced other teams know he's so bad they don't expose him until they need a play on defense.  They load up attacking other areas of the line until the offense is in a key situation, then they exploit him.  

This approach will lull us into a false sense of security, then he will be beaten at the most opportune time for the defense.  

How many times did it seem like this happened last year?

That certainly makes sense, and it wouldn't be the first time an opposing team strategically picked on a specific player.

It just seems crazy that Philbin's excuse is "well, he didn't give up any sacks at guard", as if that's the only measure for judging a lineman.

Hopefully merc reads this thread...he usually has great insight on offensive linemen, and I'd like to hear his thoughts on Thomas.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 2:45 pm

Degarmo wrote:I'm convinced that Thomas is the pivot man in a love triangle between himself, Philbin and Aponte.

And now you can't un-see that.  Wink



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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Degarmo on Thu May 28, 2015 3:44 pm

I've seen Thomas shoved back with simple power moves on the INSIDE so many times it's silly.  Of course he doesn't give up a ton of sacks on the inside because A) Lazor's offense is predicated on getting the ball out in 2.2 seconds and; B) Tannehill is good at seeing the inside rush and getting away from it, unless it's a double-a or a loop stunt on out routes coming from the blind edge.

So sure, Thomas may seem to not give up sacks, but he gives up pressures, can't run block to save his life, and looks like a traffic cone most of the time.

Thomas is, in all seriousness, one of the worst technique guard players I've ever watched in my life at any important football level.  He gets out of his stance slow, stands straight up, doesn't bend his knees enough and for an ex-college-tackle he never gets his back foot planted well at all.  The fact that they keep rolling him out proves to me that what I said above may indeed have merit about being the pivot man.

Seriously, in watching what he does IN GAMES, where it MATTERS, he is god awful.  Anyone saying otherwise, even if they're trying to save his ego, should not be a coach in this league.

I hope that he makes a dramatic improvement this year, but he won't, because his technique is so flawed, that even with the best teachers in the world, even with Lombardi spending every teaching moment available in the guy's day, he'd never, ever catch up.

He, to put it mildly, sucks at his position.
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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 4:07 pm

That's an excellent assessment of Thomas, and I don't see how anyone could dispute any of that.

It seems like the Dolphins are so intent at finding guards that are "athletic" that they completely ignore technique and strength. You look at guys like Thomas and Shelley Smith, and the only positive trait they possess is they're "athletic". Unfortunately, I see Jamil DOuglas being in the same mold (although technique-wise he has to be better than Thomas, right???) Even Turner - the big knock on him coming out of college was that he needed to get stronger. I'm all for a zone blocking scheme, but if we're sacrificing strength and technique for athleticism, that's a big mistake.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Degarmo on Thu May 28, 2015 4:30 pm

I don't see these guys as athletic either, that's what gets me. Athletic linemen to me are guys that can move, pull, get into the second level and be effective. These guys are just slow and shitty. Not a good combination. I don't think they know what it is they want in a player for the offensive line.
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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Birdmond on Thu May 28, 2015 5:13 pm

If and that's a big IF , Albert is healthy , Fox will start at left guard. Relax.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Degarmo on Thu May 28, 2015 5:40 pm

Oh, I'm relaxed. Fox has a limited skill set as well, but when he played it was better than Thomas. I hope Thomas can make a jump forward, but I'd rather he be off the team after camp.

As far as Albert, we need to prepare for life without him as of yesterday. When in, he's very, very good. Durability, as we all know, is that key (hence that big IF you mentioned, Bird).
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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Thu May 28, 2015 8:53 pm

Birdmond wrote:If and that's a big IF , Albert is healthy , Fox will start at left guard.  Relax.  

Fox at guard??? Really? I thought he was strictly a tackle. If he's being moved to guard, that leaves us very thin at tackle. It also doesn't say much about Douglas, or the veteran guards we added this offseason. What a disaster...can't this line ever get fixed????

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by Birdmond on Fri May 29, 2015 6:31 am

Fox has been working at left guard and left tackle during OTA's. See I don't understand why it's not okay to be exited about Devante Parker during OTA's but it's okay to panic about the offensive line or declare Douglas a disaster.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Fri May 29, 2015 9:03 am

Birdmond wrote:See I don't understand why it's not okay to be exited about Devante Parker during OTA's but it's okay to panic about the offensive line or declare Douglas a disaster.  

My feelings about the OL have absolutely nothing to do with OTAs. Without pads, the OL and DL won't really show anything. But I don't like any of the guards on this roster, with the exception of Turner - and I have no idea how good or bad he'll be. I didn't hear anything about Douglas in OTAs - my opinion of him is based entirely on what I know about him from college. I hated the pick when it was made, nothing to do with OTAs.

As for Parker, he's a top 15 pick and he should look fantastic in OTAs - that's expected. I don't take anything from OTAs; they're just used to get the players on the same page in the system - it doesn't really matter what an individual player does.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by mercury22nathan on Fri May 29, 2015 1:51 pm

JMP wrote:Hopefully merc reads this thread...he usually has great insight on offensive linemen, and I'd like to hear his thoughts on Thomas.

thanks so much for the respect.  as my kids get older (middle school now), i have less and less time on the weekends to devote to watching sports on TV, but i still love watching the college O-linemen and trying to project how they'll do in the pros.

Degarmo wrote:...stands straight up, doesn't bend his knees...

Degarmo hit the nail on the head.  this is exactly what i saw of him when i watched him at Tennessee.  he doesn't (can't?) get low and more often then not loses leverage.  the more the game went on he would get sloppy and bend at the waist and often dropped his head.  the opposition would use his poor technique and own momentum to ride him to the ground or simply swim around him.  once he got to the pros (and the strength of the competition increased exponentially), they would simply blow him up on the straight-line, shortest distance to the QB.

i think the coaching staff's hope is that in a ZBS they can protect some of his weaknesses by making him a wall-and-seal type blocker - basically just having him get in the way - but he is often too slow to react and will lose contain when defenders cut across the grain of movement.  how may times have we seen the Phins try to sweep right only to have a DT slip back against his left side and penetrate to blow the play up in the backfield?

unless there is a miraculous turnaround, i just don't see him getting much better - he continues to show the same traits he's always had since college.

btw, he was one of the players that i said the Phins should stay away from in the o-line college talent evaluations i used to do on the old site.  but when the Phins drafted him, i figured they saw something i did not...guess not.

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Re: Philbin continues to pretend Dallas Thomas doesn't suck

Post by JMP on Fri May 29, 2015 2:26 pm

Thanks, merc! Great stuff. When you and Degarmo are saying the same thing about OL, I think it's pretty telling (or damning, in this case).

You know, the "just get in the way" blocking style is what you expect from WRs and pass-catching TEs. It's sad when that's your expectation for a left guard!

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