Earlier in free agency, Bill O'Brien and the Texans' front office made an underrated move by signing veteran safety and elite special teamer, Michael Thomas. Thomas has been lauded as a great special teams player who is also known for his excellent leadership skills and ability to have a positive influence in the locker room.
In 2018, while playing for the New York Giants, Thomas was selected to play in the Pro Bowl. The 30-year-old was also selected to the PFF 2010s All-Decade Team as a special teamer.
Last season, with the Giants, Thomas recorded 47 combined tackles with 33 solo tackles and 3 tackles for loss after playing 87% of special team snaps and only 27% of defensive snaps.
Coming in an as a free agent, Thomas, a Houston native, is excited to play a consistent role on his hometown team.
"I know I can play on defense, and I can contribute in any type of role, whatever the team needs me to do," Thomas explained.
Thomas also stated his eagerness to play with his new teammates on special teams.
"I'm going to love being out there with (Brennan) Scarlett," Thomas added. "Pete (Kalambayi), A.J. Moore, being out there with those guys now because they did it at a high-level last year, and we're going to continue to try to do it this year."
Thomas also emphasized the unique role he has to play on special teams. "It takes a different mentality," Thomas continued, "You're going down there and going against a bunch of guys that might be their only job, to go down there and try to block you for the whole game."
"So, you have to be fast, you have to be strong, but you've also got to use your mind and understand this guy that's probably returning the ball when I'm covering a punt or a kick, it's probably like a Tyreek Hill, it's probably like a (Mecole) Hardman, it's probably somebody who is very fast, very gifted and talented," Thomas explained.
Thomas furthered his description by focusing on some of the technicalities and intricacies of being a special teams player. "I got to, one, defeat my block, I have to get in position to even make an open-field tackle – open field tackles are super hard – and then I have to find a way to get him down"
"Just understanding that was going to be my ticket to playing a long time in the NFL and to have longevity and a long career, I understood I had to perfect that craft," Thomas mentioned. "I didn't just want to do it to be one of the guys out there, I want to master it and I want to be one of the best"
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