NOTEBOOK: Thomas And Mastrud Expecting K-State Presence Sunday

Posted Nov 4, 2011

There aren’t just rabid Kansas City Chiefs fans in and around the area where Arrowhead Stadium sits. With Kansas State University located 90 minutes down the road, Wildcats fans can be found in abundance.

One look at the incoming calls and texts to Miami Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas and tight end Jeron Mastrud easily confirms how big a following K-State has. The two former Wildcats will see plenty of familiar faces in the stands come Sunday.

“There were so many people asking for tickets and I had to tell them I’m not paying for all of those tickets because I already got enough for everybody,” said Thomas, who was Miami’s second-round draft pick (62nd overall) in April. “I have somewhere between 12 and 15 and I’m definitely looking forward to it. Some of my teammates I played with are going to come and a lot of other people that supported the Wildcats are going to come so it’ll be fun.”

Mastrud’s parents are coming to the game along with a couple of his close friends from K-State, but he wasn’t quite as deluged with requests as Thomas was. He figures so many of those people from that area are Chiefs fans that they will find their own way into the stadium.

Both Thomas and Mastrud also had the good fortune of having played games at Arrowhead in college when the Wildcats faced off against Iowa State. They’ve actually played there more times than 15-year veteran outside linebacker Jason Taylor (once) and 8th-year veteran inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, who has never played there.

“The one thing I wasn’t used to when I went out and played there was the wind whipping in your face,” Mastrud said. “That’s just a whole new level, especially when it’s cold. Everyone says it’s the loudest place in the NFL but I played in the Big 12 and there’s a lot of loud stadiums there, too. I played at Auburn before so it shouldn’t be anything new.”

Fortunately for the Dolphins this time around, temperatures are expected to be in the high 50s and low 60s. When these two teams met three years ago in late December, the temperature at kickoff was 10 degrees with a wind chill factor of minus-12 degrees. Miami won, 38-31.

Thomas is looking forward to getting on the actual field because he already knows what to expect in terms of turf conditions. In fact, he had quite an afternoon in his last visit last September 18th in the Wildcats’ come-from-behind 27-20 win over Iowa State, rushing for 181 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 34 carries.

“I played there twice so I know how the surface is but I’m not sure how the weather’s going to be,” Thomas said. “I feel like I’ve got a good feeling for the stadium. It always has a college atmosphere to it so it’ll be fun because the fans love that team.”

His first game at Arrowhead, also against Iowa State on October 3rd, 2009, ended in victory, 24-23, when Kansas State’s Emmanuel Lamur blocked the Cyclone’s extra point with 32 seconds left. Thomas rushed for 96 yards on 25 carries, so clearly he likes playing in that stadium.

DOLPHINS TIDBITS: In a scene straight out of Rocky III, the players picked up the pace a bit at the start of practice as Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” blared over the loudspeakers. After practice wide receiver Davone Bess tricked some members of the media into singing a few bars of the song by his locker by telling them he wasn’t familiar with it. He threatened to put the performance on YouTube after cracking a smile and letting them in on the ruse. … Tight end Anthony Fasano showed off his punting skills near the end of the open media portion of practice by punting an orange practice football into the stands. It’s safe to say Brandon Fields has nothing to worry about. … Dansby’s experience with loud stadiums came during his time with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West whenever they traveled to Seattle. He did reveal that the piped in crowd noise Sparano plays during practice does make a difference. “If you can hear in the noise segments during practice you should be able to have a little success in this stadium,” Dansby said.

INJURY UPDATE: Cornerback Vontae Davis (hamstring), rookie wide receiver Edmond Gates (groin) and rookie running back Daniel Thomas (hamstring) all were limited and are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. … Strong safety Yeremiah Bell (toe), right tackle Marc Colombo (knee), rookie center Mike Pouncey (neck), left guard Richie Incognito, outside linebacker Jason Taylor (hip), defensive end Kendall Langford (hips) and quarterback Matt Moore (ribs) all participated in a full practice and are listed as probable. … For the Chiefs, safety Jon McGraw (shoulder) is doubtful for Sunday’s practice and did not practice for the third straight day. … Javier Arenas (ankle) was added to the Chiefs' injury report as questionable as he was limited in practice today.
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins