Football Team

Why Rivera takes pride in Logan Thomas' growth for Washington

Football Team

Antonio Gibson was the breakout star of Washington's enormous Thanksgiving win — he did things that put him in the same sentences as Randy Moss and Barry Sanders — but Logan Thomas had himself an afternoon in Dallas, too.

The 29-year-old had four catches for 20 yards and a crucial touchdown as a receiver, yet those were far from his only contributions. Thomas also had a three-yard carry for a first down where he lined up in shotgun as the quarterback, and he found Terry McLaurin for a 28-yard completion on a trick play in the first quarter.

If Washington didn't already have Tress Way, Thomas probably would've given punting a shot.

One day after Thomas put together that stat line, Ron Rivera told the media why he takes so much pride in Thomas' development specifically.

"The guy that has really, truly intrigued me has been Logan Thomas," the coach explained. "As we went through training camp and we got near the end of it, he made a comment to me about, 'Oh, that's why we do these things.' He said it real quick in passing and I thought to myself, 'Oh, he gets it.'"

Getting it is something that really matters to Rivera, as he's often discussed the importance of "aha moments" for his players. To him, they are one of the most fun parts of his job, and while they come at different times for different guys, Thomas is firmly in the group of those who have had theirs.

 

"All he's done is continue to get better and better and better," Rivera said. "It's been exciting to watch his growth as a tight end in our system. That's really been cool to watch."

This offseason, Rivera and the front office took some serious heat for addressing what many felt was the weakest spot on the roster by signing Thomas and no one else. They didn't draft anyone there, either.

Through 11 games, though, Thomas has emerged as a reliable piece. His 34 catches already doubles his previous career high and he's caught four touchdowns. His blocking, originally seen as a major weakness, is improving and, as he demonstrated on Thanksgiving, he gives Scott Turner some serious flexibility in certain situations as well.

Earlier this year, Rivera remarked that people are "sleeping on" Thomas. At this point, almost everyone should be awake by now.