Thompson: Let’s talk a little bit about your
experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars so far this year as a rookie. What are
some of your overall impressions of how you're fitting in with the team?
Mike Thomas: I think I’m fitting in pretty good. I
think being a rookie, you just kind of have to find your niche, and once you find
it--or think you found it--you can develop and grow from there. I think they’ve
done a good job of easing me into the offense and special teams.
They are giving me the chance to get know
what it feels like to be in an NFL game. I think everything is going smoothly,
so now I am
looking to grow and develop as a player.
Thompson: With your skill set and speed, I think you add a
different dimension to this Jaguars offense. I see they're using you a lot
of different ways.
Thomas: I’m pretty pleased and happy just to be a part
of the offense, just to have the opportunity
to get out there. I’m willing to do whatever I can to help my team out. Things are going good.
Thompson: You’ve gotten a couple of starts over these last
two weeks. Did you expect to be able to get
some starts this early in
your rookie year?
I felt that there was a lot of potential for me to play out of the
slot. I figured
it was up for grabs, especially when they traded Dennis Northcutt. I definitely didn’t put it past myself
to start, but I
didn’t expect it this early. So I'm just trying to capitalize on every opportunity that I get.
Talk about your role on special teams handling both punt returns and kick returns.
I love having the ball in my hands, trying to make a play. I have
experience with the
return game and I’ve had a couple of opportunities, so it’s been pretty good for
me so far.
Mike, I think every rookie comes into the National
Football League with expectations of what it’s going to be like. How has your
experience so far matched up to what you thought it would be?
Thomas has been called upon to run the ball, catch passes and returns punts and kickoffs.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Thomas: It’s a lot faster. You see holes, and you see them close just as quick as you see them.
Coming into it I pretty much had an open mind. I didn’t put any extra pressure on myself or
anything like that. I just went out there and played.
How much of a help has it been to have a guy like
Torry Holt to work with and to l earn from? And are there any other veterans on the
team that have been a really big help to you?
All of them. You've got Troy (Williamson)--he’s hurt, but he still comes
around. From the beginning, Troy and Mike Sims-Walker have been there on
and off the field, being a friend to us, showing us certain things and helping
us out on plays. Torry has helped a lot of us out. He has
so much experience, so just by watching him you learn something. We all sit around
and watch what he is doing, because we want to try to emulate
it. Those guys are leaders and role models, so we definitely take heed to that.
The team started off a little bit slow this year
but then you guys picked up the pace. What was the difference? What kick-started you in the right direction?
Thomas: I really don’t have the answer
to that one, I guess it was just our time. We were putting in a lot of hard
work, especially me being a rookie, I feel like I put a lot of work into making
the transition, and I know my teammates feel the same way. I think it just paid off for us.
We got a few
wins under our belt and got it rolling a little bit, but we still have a long
way to go as a team. We go out there and work hard at practice every day. When
you do those things, you expect to win, and we just keep knocking at that door until
Thompson: Your team had a tough loss to Seattle last week and you've
got St. Louis on your radar this week. How do
you guys bounce back from a lopsided loss like that?
You take it for what it is. You go back and look
at the film, quickly gather up what you need from it and move on. I think you learn from it,
usually when things like that happen you come back hungry to get that taste out
of your mouth. I think we had a good day at practice today, so I think we’re
going to be all right.
What are a couple of the big lessons
you guys learned from that game that are going to make you a stronger team down
I think keeping your poise, learning how to go on the road
and not make those mistakes because it’s very hard to win on the road. We just have to keep fighting
because we don’t ever want to feel what we felt leaving Seattle. I
think we will learn from it and will do whatever we have to do to get a
Mike, are you having as much fun with all of this as you
It’s been a little more play than fun to me. I think
that’s kind of how you have to approach it. You go out there and play the game
just to play the game. You don’t worry about the business aspect of it as much, even
though it is an important key. You go out there and do what you do
and let everything else take care of itself.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.