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NOTEBOOK: Dallas Thomas Excited For Possible Start; Other Notes

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Second-year offensive lineman Dallas Thomas is eager to prove himself as he likely will get the opportunity to make his first NFL start on Sunday.

Dallas Thomas apparently will be getting another chance to start on the Dolphins offensive line and he fully intends on making the most of it.

Thomas went into the lineup during the game against the Buffalo Bills after starter Shelley Smith went down with a knee injury and he’s in line to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I’m excited, but it’s just another day to show what I can do, show that I have improved since the last time,” Thomas said. “Second opportunities barely come around in the league. This is like a second opportunity and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Thomas, you may recall, was the starter at right guard for the first two preseason games before Smith replaced him for the all-important third game.

Thomas’ demotion followed a difficult outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. But Thomas said he chose to use the Tampa Bay game as a learning tool instead of letting it get him down.

In the final analysis, Thomas says he’s a better player now than he was in the preseason.

“Yeah, of course,” he said. “Every week you want to get better and better. From the Tampa Bay week I was able to look at the film, learn from it and get better. It showed up.”

TICKET TALE

The Dolphins have sold more than 70,000 tickets for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but seats in the lower and middle levels have been released for sale. Visit dolphins.com for ticket information.

LOOKING FOR REDEMPTION

The Dolphins special teams have been solid for a long time, and the players in the kicking game are looking to return to that level after a difficult afternoon at Buffalo last weekend.

“The only medicine for what happened this past Sunday is to get back out there and show them that that’s not us, put something great on film, show them that we went back to work,” said Michael Thomas, who tied for the team lead with Jonathan Freeny with 29 special teams snaps against Buffalo. “Because that’s what we did; we came back to work and got after that, put in a new game plan, put that behind, and said that’s not us. We can’t ever put that on tape again.

“So Sunday when we go out there we’re going to take pride in what we do. We’ll go out there and we’re going to make plays on special teams because we’re going to want to contribute to our team winning, not be the cause for our team not to win. The only way to remedy what happened this past Sunday is to go out there and make plays.”

Rookie running back Damien Williams played 21 snaps on special teams and accepted responbility for the punt block in the first quarter.

“We’ve got to put that in the back of our heads,” he said. “We’re all grown men, we’re all professionals. Everybody has to be accountable for what their position is, come out this week and we’ve got to play better. That’s just on us.”

Thomas said the special teams players needed to learn from what happened against Buffalo but also move on.

“You can’t dwell on it because if you dwell on it, then you’ll just repeat it, you won’t get better,” Thomas said. “Sunday, we’re going to go out there with a sense of pride, a sense of urgency and get our jobs done. What we talk about is 1/11. That’s our motto out here, everybody getting their job done. So that’s what we’re going to go out there and do.”

IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

The new developmental Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL), which will feature four teams and begin play Oct. 8, recently announced the head coaches for its inaugural season and two of them have ties to the Dolphins.

One is John Bock, a former NFL offensive lineman who spent five seasons (1996-00) in Miami and started 10 games at center and both guard spots. The other is Terry Shea, the former Rutgers University head coach who served as quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins during the 2007 season.

On Bock’s coaching staff with the Brooklyn Bolts will be another former Dolphins player, James Brown, who was Bock’s teammate in Miami for four seasons (1996-99).

Shea, meanwhile, will be head coach of the Boston Brawlers.

Along with Brooklyn and Boston, the other two teams in the FXFL this fall will be the Omaha Mammoths and the Florida Blacktips, who will play their home games at FIU Stadium.

THIS AND THAT

As a reminder, the Dolphins will pass out aqua T-shirts at Sun Life Stadium to the first 65,000 fans who show up Sunday for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. ... Two-time Grammy winner, and South Florida native, Jon Secada will perform the national anthem before the game Sunday, while website sensation Cimorelli — a singing group comprised of six sisters — will perform at halftime.

LAST WORD

“I don’t think that we are the team that showed at the Bills and I don’t think that’s the Miami Dolphins that are going to be out there the rest of the year. But, again, it’s a long season. We have a long time to define ourselves and we can’t be defined by that game.” — Guard Daryn Colledge
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