Undrafted rookie
Chucktownsteeler
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05-12-2018, 08:32 AM

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin found his way over to No. 46 gold in the far corner of the first stretch of rookie minicamp, and the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers started a stream of small talk that had to impress the kid -- an inside linebacker.


An undrafted inside linebacker.

An unknown inside linebacker.

But obviously not to Tomlin.


Jerry Olsavsky also paid special attention to the rookie. The position coach spoke fundamentals to the entire group of inside linebackers, but seemed to laser in on the eyes of Matthew Thomas, No. 46 gold.

Olsavsky wanted to make him understand, and for all the world Thomas was paying attention.

He has to. It's probably his last chance.

But obviously not to Tomlin.
Jerry Olsavsky also paid special attention to the rookie. The position coach spoke fundamentals to the entire group of inside linebackers, but seemed to laser in on the eyes of Matthew Thomas, No. 46 gold.

Olsavsky wanted to make him understand, and for all the world Thomas was paying attention.

He has to. It's probably his last chance.

The next year, 2014, Thomas was suspended for six games for violating team rules, and he also underwent another shoulder surgery.
But Thomas didn't bounce back in 2015. The loss of his mother left him disinterested in school work and he was suspended for the season.
He did bounce back in 2016, when he led Florida State in tackles. He led the Seminoles in tackles again in 2017, but not without a brush with the law. In the spring of 2017 he was arrested for disorderly intoxication in Miami. Charges were dropped in November but the damage to his reputation had been done.
In spite of measuring 6-2 3/4, 232 and having run a 4.44 40 at his pro day, after a Combine that included a 41.5 vertical jump, a 10-11 broad jump and a 6.85 3-cone time, Thomas wasn't drafted.

"I was very surprised," he said. "That's life."

Thomas signed with the Steelers after the draft, and for a good reason:

"Because I felt there was an opportunity to come and prove myself," he said. "They need that linebacker, so I wanted to come help if I can."
How did he fall from 5-star status to undrafted rookie in a day-to-day fight to stick with the Steelers throughout their spring practice season?

"I had a lot of issues, a lot of stuff going on in college. I've been through a lot," Thomas said. "I guess teams didn't want to risk that chance on me. It's all good because I just needed an opportunity and I'm here now. I'm going to take advantage of it."
Thomas said he "was an open book" with teams about his track record, and "I let them make the decision."


Read more: https:https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/Article/Fallen-5-Star-Linebacker-Realizes-Steelers-Are-Final-Chance-118159967


Dilly - Dilly!

Pray for 50!
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2018, 02:26 PM by Chucktownsteeler.)
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