As starter, Thomas boosted his TE development
Former Tech QB being used in different ways with Washington
ASHBURN— This is the fourth seasonwhen Logan Thomas has played tight end, but the first when he’s been on the field for most of his team’s plays.
That difference, he said Wednesday, has allowed him to learn and improve at a quicker rate than with just classroom and practice work.
“Things are different in a game than in practice,” Thomas, a former Virginia Tech quarterback, said. “It just is. People go harder, play harder. People’s livelihoods are on the line. But that’s what you want.”
The Washington Football Team committed to Thomas as the starting tight end early in training camp, a luxury he was not afforded in his previous stops with the Bills and Lions.
That, plus the opportunity to play near his Lynchburg home,
made the decision easy for him during free agency. He’ll get a glimpse at an alternate future this weekend. One of the other teams that was vying for his services was Washington’s upcoming opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But for Thomas, the opportunity to be a regular NFL player has helped him get closer to his potential.
“We wanted him to be comfortable being a tight end,” Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner said. “We made it clear early in camp hewould be our guy, and wanted him to focus on playing the tight end position and doing it as well as he could.
“It was just about learning the intricacies of the position and getting more comfortable. If he had been the backup, he probably wouldn’t have gotten the development. He needed to be out there playing 55-60 snaps a game.”
Thomas did step away from his tight end duties briefly for a trick-play pass he threw on Thanksgiving in Dallas. It was complete to Terry McLaurin.
“I told him he’s got a pretty goodQB rating right now,” quarterback Alex Smith joked. “We domultiple things with Logan. He’s a talented guy— you’ve seen a little bit of that the last couple weeks.”
Smith was referring to a play against Cincinnati where Thomas took a direct snap and ran forward to gain a first down.
That play showcased another element of his game— he’s not afraid to get dirty.
“Logan is just a competitor, man,” said cornerback Kendall Fuller, who overlapped with Thomas for a year at Virginia Tech. “He’ll put his body on the line and do whatever it takes for us to win football games.”
Sacrificing for the team is just fine for Thomas, who has taken to coach Ron Rivera’s leadership style in Washington.
He said this offseason that his favorite NFL season so far was playing in Buffalo for coach Sean McDermott, a former Rivera assistant and William & Mary defensive back, because of how close the team was.
“I knew it would be the same way here,” Thomas said. “I think people on the outside can now see what we feel on the inside, of team camaraderie and just really getting to know each other — and I think that’s why we’re starting to play better.”
He noted that most communication this offseason was done by Zoom, putting Washington behind other, more established teams.
“Now we’re trying to play catch-up during the season,” he said. “I think it’s starting to show on the field.”