I still haven’t decided how I feel about the Zach Thomas signing. There are a lot of good things about it and some questionable aspects, too. Something tells me I’ll have to end up seeing him in action before I can come to any kind of conclusion. Yup, I’m a waffler on this one. Anyway, Jimmy Johnson gives him high praise in this article.
"At his size, you've got to scheme him right, keep him protected, keep those massive offensive linemen off him. Give Zach a step, and he will make a ton of tackles. He's a tackling machine. A playmaker.
"As far as leadership, he's good at that. But a leader has to also be a good player. Unless age or injury slows him, Zach can still play. He's vocal; he's got tremendous passion and tremendous dedication.
"The guys will rally around him. The other players respect him for his talent, his toughness and that motor that is always running."
For the negative side, I stumbled across this article at Lubbock Online. I don’t know the writer or the publication but he sure doesn’t like Zach.
Let's see, why would I want an aging linebacker who missed all but five games of the season last year with the effects of a concussion, who has lost more than one step, misses half the tackles he goes for and can't cover me, which is particularly bad since he'll be playing inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. The 3-4 absolutely requires two things of its inside linebackers - that they be able to run and that they be able to tackle, neither of which Thomas can do adequately enough to be effective.
Thomas will have a very tough time to crack the starting lineup. He'll go into camp no better than the No. 5 inside linebacker behind Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Kevin Burnett and Bobby Carpenter (although Carpenter has been less than spectacular since the Cowboys drafted him out of Ohio State).
No. 5 ILB? Apparently this guy couldn’t be bothered to read about Jerry and Wade anointing him a starter already. Doing research is such a bother.
While watching the NFL Combine yesterday I noted in the open thread that I was really impressed with WR Eddie Royal out of Virginia Tech. Being an ACC guy, I’d watched him his whole college career, but his combine performance was spectacular and really opened my eyes. Mike Sando over at Hashmarks sums it up.
Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal posted top-five finishes at his position in four of five categories for which I have results. I have results in the 40-yard dash, 10- and 20-yard splits, and vertical jump.
According to numbers provided by the NFL, Royal finished first in the 10-yard split (1.48 seconds) and bench press (24 repetitions of 225 pounds). He finished fifth in the 20-yard split (2.55) and 40-yard dash (4.39). Michigan's State's Devin Thomas also finished first in two of the five categories in question (1.48 seconds over 10 yards and 2.52 seconds over 20 yards).
SaratogaMan also likes Eddie and posted a diary about it, here.