Dolphins 2012 Player Review: Daniel Thomas


Dec 2, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas (33) runs past New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (37) in the third quarter at Sun Life Stadium. The Patriots won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The second year Running Back from Kansas State University, Daniel Thomas, has been a target on many fan’s list’s on who needs to go at the end of the season. The same reasons keep coming up whenever something goes wrong. If it’s not his fumbling issue, then it’s his health issue. If it’s not the fact he can’t stay healthy, then it has something to do with trading up in the second round to draft him. Simply put, fan’s seem to think he’s not worth a roster spot.

First let’s look at his stats on the season before we go into what we saw him do on the field. Thomas played in 12 games this season and had a pretty decent season. He had 325 yards on 91 carries(3.6 yards per carry average), 4 Touchdowns, and 3 Fumbles(2 lost fumbles). He also had 156 yards on 15 receptions(10.4 yards per reception average), no Touchdowns, and no fumbles. He also was able to get the Dolphins 15 first downs on the ground and another 5 in the air.

Stat wise I didn’t see any big issues. Yes he had 3 fumbles, but RB Reggie Bush had 4. Now I’m not going to compare Daniel Thomas to Reggie Bush, or even Lamar Miller, because Thomas is a completely different type of RB. Thomas is a Power RB and is going to be more effective up the middle in short yardage and goal line situations. Bush and Miller are speed backs who do better going to the outside and using breakaway speed for the big play. The playing style of Bush and Miller appeal to fan’s more because it is so much more exciting to watch, but that doesn’t mean a RB like Thomas isn’t effective.

One of the biggest knocks on Thomas from fan’s has been his fumbling issue. Since he had that problem at Kansas State then he’s going to have the same problem in the NFL right? No. He had 3 fumbles this season and only 2 fumbles last season. That’s not the end of the world. Does he need to work more on ball security? Yes. But should Miami get rid of him because of 3 fumbles? No. I don’t see where that makes any sense.

The biggest issue that Thomas has isn’t the fumbling, it’s his ability to stay healthy. Both of his first two seasons in the NFL have been shortened. He only played in 13 games last season, then 12 this season.  At Kansas State he also had a problem with staying healthy. Again, is that enough to get rid of him? No. Not after only seeing him play for 2 season’s in the NFL.

I think since Thomas isn’t the flashy RB, then fan’s don’t think he’s useful. Granted he doesn’t fit the West Coast style offense like what the Dolphins used this season, but he’s also the only Power RB on this roster and he’s not getting the same carries Reggie is. In a goal line situation I would much rather have Thomas try to power his way up the middle, then let Reggie try to bounce around the outside of the defense.

In no way do I think Thomas is a great RB, nor do I think Thomas is as good as Bush, but I don’t think the Dolphins should get rid of him.  I saw several times this season where Thomas came in for Reggie and out performed him in a few games. He’s never going to be a pro bowl RB, nor do I think he will ever be a starter for Miami, but he is a useful RB and should be with the team next season. He does have flaws and issues that need addressed, but so does Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller. No more then what Thomas costs the Dolphins, he’s worth keeping on the roster.

With all of that said, my grade for Daniel Thomas this season: B-