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Will Kelly Outflank Thomas for Playing Time?


The 1st Round Pick
Jul 16, 2009
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Devin Thomas is not expected to play in today's intrasquad scrimmage because of lingering hamstring soreness. Malcolm Kelly, however, is on the list to participate, which could be good for him.

Although Thomas had an early lead on Kelly to become the starting Z receiver, or flanker, opposite Santana Moss (the X receiver or split end), things could be changing with the Skins preparing to begin their preseason schedule Thursday against the Ravens.

Thomas has exhibited more maturity and a better work ethic than he did as a rookie last season, many in the organization said, but he must learn to push through pain and stay on the field. Coach Jim Zorn recently acknowledged the Skins have proceeded cautiously with Thomas, their top 2008 draft pick, because he's still "learning how to handle his body."

Young athletes experience that situation as they transition from college to the pros, but the Skins are counting on Thomas for a lot this season. If he can't get it all together quickly and seize the opportunity on the platter in front of him, Kelly might sprint past him before the season starts.

I have wondered if this very thing was not a possibility. Kelly had more reps in college than Thomas did and he had them at a bigger school and more competitive conference. All that translates to more experience, even with the greater number of reps Thomas has gotten since they were drafted.

We have been hearing for a year now how he has the best hands on the team and largest "catch zone" of any receiver which give Campbell a larger target. Add his height in there and if the kid can stay healthy he offers a very different type of receiver then we have seen in Washington in a long time.

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