LIONS INSIDER

Mike Thomas focused on learning the offense this offseason

Posted Jun 8, 2013

Thomas is confident he'll be back to the form in 2013 that saw him catch 158 passes for 1,688 yards in his first three seasons with Jacksonville

The Lions traded for receiver Mike Thomas right before the trade deadline last year to add a reliable receiver to their mix and help stem the loss of Nate Burleson to a broken leg.
Mike ThomasWR Mike Thomas (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Unfortunately, Thomas didn't have the impact the Lions hoped he would as he finished with just five receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Thomas was thrust into a tough spot last year trying to learn a complicated passing scheme midseason ... on the fly.

He told detroitlions.com back in December that he was looking forward to offseason to learn the offense properly and get to a point where he didn't have to think as much out on the field, but rather just play.

Thomas has been afforded that opportunity this offseason and is confident he'll be back to the form in 2013 that saw him catch 158 passes for 1,688 yards in his first three seasons with Jacksonville.

"I definitely feel a lot more comfortable with what's going on," Thomas said after an OTA practice last week. "Now it's just about competing and getting the reps in and getting familiar with all the things we do as receivers."

Thomas, playing mostly out of the slot, caught 48, 66 and 44 passes, respectively, his first three seasons with the Jaguars. He became expendable for the Jaguars last season when Jacksonville turned to their younger receivers so they could gain experience.

Thomas played in nine games and 223 snaps, or approximately 25 per game, with Detroit last year.

He is now one of 13 receivers currently on the 90-man roster. With tight competition expected in training camp for the five or six roster spots available, Thomas is banking on his ability to simply go out and play football – now knowing the offense – as being a difference maker for him.

"We have a lot of guys here and a lot of competition, which is always good," he said. "Competition always brings out the best in you. We embrace it and have fun with it and we're just going to have to see how everything turns out.

"It's definitely fun to be able to come out here and be able to rotate and play fast and be in the mix. You have to put your best foot forward and see what happens."