SAN DIEGO –
A fifth-round draft pick in 2010, Thomas needed to prove he could transform that powerful frame into a consistent playmaker in the NFL. After playing in six games as a rookie, he’s gotten more opportunities this year – including his first career start – and made plays at an increasingly frequent rate.
Thomas’ sack of Matt Cassel on Oct. 31 was reminiscent of
The second-year defensive tackle got his second sack in five games Sunday against Denver, tying him for the lead among Chargers defensive linemen. He also is third in that positional group with 14 tackles.
He answered your questions this week.
Maurice Dolberry; Chula Vista, Calif.
What was it like recording your first sack in the NFL?
That was a great feeling. It was Monday Night Football against the Broncos. It was the best feeling ever because a sack in the NFL, those are hard to come by. When I got my first one it was like, ‘Dang, so this is what it feels like!’ It made me hungry to get more.
Briana Jaime; San Diego
Did the position you were taken in the draft give you a strong motivation to prove you could be a player in the league?
Even if I was drafted in the first round I still would’ve felt like I had something to prove. No matter what round I got drafted or if I was signed as a free agent, I still would’ve had to prove myself. Just like in life, you always have to prove yourself. But yes, it motivates me.
Hector A; Escondido, Calif.
Do your tattoos have any special meaning to them and are there any you plan on getting sometime soon?
I have a couple tattoos that are meaningful. I have one that’s real meaningful for my grandmother. It’s a dove with a rose on it and it says ‘Always missing you Rosa Maye.’ There’s one I’m going to get on my back, it’s going to be a lion. The lion symbolizes wisdom, strength, loyalty and stuff like that. So I’m going to get that lion with a little cub to symbolize my daughter.
Lee Cuchine; Vacaville, Calif.
What challenges do Maurice Jones-Drew and the rest of the Jaguars offense present to your defensive unit?
They’re a great run team. Maurice Jones-Drew runs really well, so I feel like if you stop him everything else will be alright. If we don’t stop the run, then they can get some other things going. We just have to play sound defense like we know we can and do our assignments.
Chris Hicks; San Diego
What has been the best part of being a professional football player?
Just doing something that I always dreamed about. Ever since I was little, seeing everybody else playing all my life, finally my reward is to play in the NFL. Now, my next reward is being able to accomplish the other things I’ve set out to do.
Tim Shaw; Valencia, Calif.
What are your favorite pre-game and post-game meals?
It’s kind of funny. I eat pineapple. I like the water in the fruit of pineapple before the game. It’s kind of weird. I always eat pineapple, and then I’m good to go. I don’t really eat any meals. After the game I just try to get the water and electrolytes back in my system.
Jim Holt; Captain Cook, Hawaii
What aspects of your game are you looking to improve the most?
Well, you know, I’m 6-foot-5, so the main thing is just always trying to stay low. That’s something I always have to work on along with my hand technique and footwork. That’s the main thing in the league out here is your ability to get low and your hand and foot placement. I try to work on those things each and every day.
Khalil Jordan; Clarksville, Tenn.
With a 4-7 record, in what ways have this season been a test in humility?
Basically the lesson that nothing is given to you. If you want it you have to go get it; you have to take it. You see something you want? You have to go bust that window and take it. Now we’ll be able to see if we’re really a team. Even though we’re 4-7, we’ll be able to see who’s going their own way, putting the ‘I’ in team, as opposed to team ball. It’s going to really show who’s together and who we really are together as a team, no matter what.
Justin Saks; San Diego
I’ve heard you have a likeable personality. Where does that come from?
I feel like it comes from my mother and my dad. We get along with anybody. We’re always laughing and smiling, even when something is on our minds. My momma always told me, ‘Life’s too short to always have something worrying you or stressing you out.’ Stress, it can kill you early. I’m trying to live a long time.