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Dallas Thomas has Gone From Bench to Possible Dolphin O-Line Starter

Last season, Dallas Thomas was expected become a starter on the Miami Dolphins offensive line, but that never materialized. Instead, the 2013 third round pick from Tennessee only had three offensive snap last season. In 2014, it appears Thomas has gone from a bench warmer, to a starting offensive lineman.

After working at guard and tackle during his rookie season, Thomas has gotten snaps with the first-team offensive line throughout training camp. He even started at right guard in the Dolphins preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

So far, Thomas, has outplayed off free agent acquisition Shelley Smith and rookie third-round pick Billy Turner for the starting guard position. Head coach Joe Philbin has been impressed with the progress of Thomas thus far. 

“Well, he got better, you could tell when you watched the tape throughout the course of last year that he was developing and progressing,” said Philbin. “He had a very good offseason program. He was one of the guys that was here voluntarily in February and March, just working with our strength and conditioning guys, and so he’s made good progress, solid progress. 

It’s so night and day the difference you see in Thomas compared to his first year in the league. As a rookie, he was lost at times during training camp, which is why the Dolphins didn’t put him on the field much in 2013.

So far during this year’s training camp, Thomas is playing both run and pass blocking better. He looks a lot more athletic than he did as a rookie. Maybe that’s because he’s in much better shape. 

Over the offseason, Thomas hired a nutritionist, who helped him change his diet. The changes in his diet has helped him add muscle and trimmed down his body fat. While it may be hard to tell the different in Thomas’ body by just looking at him, you can certainly see a difference in his performance.

While Thomas has outplayed Smith and Turner during training camp, head coach Joe Philbin says it is still an ongoing competition.

“Again, I don’t think anything’s locked up. I think he’s gotten a couple of reps with the second team,” said Philbin. “We’ve been moving guys around, but certainly nothing’s locked and loaded. But he has performed pretty well.” 

While the Dolphins have had some issues with their offensive line during camp, Thomas has been performing well. He has played much like the player the Dolphins expected him to be a season ago. 


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