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Thomas Says He's Ready To 'Step Up'


Devin Thomas knows his role now.

Starting wide receiver for the Washington Redskins.

His goal this offseason?

Keep it that way.

After a year and a half of learning the NFL game and fine-tuning his skills, Thomas emerged as a starter midseason last year. He ended up starting 10-of-14 games and he caught 25 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.

Now he feels it's his job to lose.

Thomas, entering his third NFL season, has just 40 career receptions, so even though he's a starter he is still establishing himself.

His new approach and new attitude is certainly welcome at Redskins Park, though.

"I just feel like this is my time to step up, and really be a leader around here," he said. "I've finally matured to the point where I'm ready for that role. So I definitely look forward to taking on that challenge."

Thomas, listed at 6-2 and 215 pounds last season, was noticeably bigger as he met with reporters in a Thursday afternoon media session.

He said he has been aggressive with his training this offseason.

"I've been in Miami pretty much just getting my mind right and expecting big things this year," he said. "Knowing the situation with what we want now, finally, with the coaching staff and having everything set up--it couldn't get any better. So I definitely just came with the right attitude, ready to go."

Thomas learned the West Coast offense employed by former head coach Jim Zorn the last two years. Now he is learning a variation of the same scheme, this one employed by offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Thomas said he expects to "move around a lot" in the new offense, lining up at several spots along the line of scrimmage.

"The coaches want to put is in situations to be successful," he said. "They want to pretty much move you around and get the best matchup."

Thomas may even play some in the slot.


Antwaan Randle El, who was released by the club on March 4, was the Redskins' primary slot receiver last year. Now several receivers could alternate in the slot.

"I feel like everybody can do something," Thomas said. "I think we all can mix and match and be successful. Like I said, [coaches] going to put us in the best situations to win."

Thomas was asked about Jason Campbell and the Redskins' quarterback situation.

Redskins coaches could pursue one of the top quarterback prospects available in the NFL Draft, with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen mentioned most often.

"I've stayed away from talking to Jason about that," Thomas said. "I know that he's fully confident and he's ready to go. He's going to do what he has to do to prove himself, and that's pretty much how we all are.

"We all have our own little situations where people have their own doubts, or whatever. But it's part of the game. You're a player and you have to do what you have to do."

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