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Daniel Thomas Aiming to Become Complete Back
By on August 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Daniel ThomasEntering his third season with the Dolphins, Daniel Thomas finds himself in the midst of a tight competition at the running back spot.

Through the first two preseason games, he has just eight carries for 24 yards, as Jonas Gray and rookie Mike Gillislee have handled a majority of the Dolphins’ carries. Thomas, however, says he expects his role to increase over the next few contests.

“As the preseason goes along, coach said we are going to get more series in, so hopefully we’ll get more plays in,” Thomas said.

Head Coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman both speak highly of Thomas’ progress in the system this training camp.

“He’s having a consistent camp,” Philbin said. “That’s one of the objectives we set out in front of him. We want to see consistency. I think he stepped up and has been aggressive in pass protection, he hasn’t been sitting back and being as tentative I think at times as he was last year, and he had the one fumble early on in the padded segment of practice, other than that I think his ball security has been good.”

“I think he’s protecting the ball better, and now, he’s had a very good camp, and now he has to carry that over to games.”

Sherman complimented Thomas’ performance against Jacksonville, and also revealed what he’s looking for when it comes to naming his next starting running back.

“I think from a running standpoint we have some pretty good runners, but to be the complete back, they have to be able to do all of those things,” Sherman said. “That’ll be the true test on who ends up being the starter, I believe.”

Sherman added that catching and pass-blocking are two of the biggest factors he’s considering in terms of a complete back.

Thomas, who prides himself on his work ethic has had a productive offseason, understands what he needs to do to separate himself from the rest of the group.

“Just doing the little things,” Thomas said. “I think I have to separate myself in the pass protection. I got to be able to be on the field all three downs and protect the quarterback. If you can’t do that, then you won’t be able to play.”

“I just want to continue to get better in practice and take it to the game.”

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