Thomas adjusting to the offense

Even three weeks into spring drills, all eyes are still on the offense. Even the most critical of fans will admit the defense is pretty good. In an offense with few sure things, one of them appears to be junior receiver Mike Thomas.

Thomas is built for the spread offense. His lack of height is not as big of an issue as it would be in other schemes, while his speed is tailor made for the short passing game the spread employs.

In fact, that is one thing the wide receiver especially likes about the offense, the fact that a variety of players can work within the same system.

"It really plays to our strengths," Thomas noted. "We've got a lot of talent out there. We've got some talent out there at wide out. We've got talent out there, we just have to utilize it."

One constant with the Arizona offense has been the lack of coaching changes. That changed this off-season when the Wildcats welcomed four new offensive minds to the staff. Although Thomas was close with the old staff, he has nothing but glowing things to say about the new crop of coaches.

So far the transition has been smooth for the most part.

"You've got to adjust to different personalities," Thomas explained. "You just have to get acclimated to them."

With new coaches came a new offense. While getting used to new personalities is one challenge, learning an entirely different scheme is a much bigger one.

Or so you would think.

So far, things have been fairly smooth.

"It's a different playbook," Thomas said. "Some of the same kind of schemes, but it's a new playbook. There are a lot of the same routes. Routes are routes."

Although the routes are not very different from the previous offense, they are vital to the current offense. The offense relies on precise timing, and in turn, relies on precise route running.

Because of that, the entire unit has been working on honing their route running skills.

"Technique, just getting technique down," Thomas replied when asked what the group needed to do to master their routes. "To come off better out of breaks. Footwork, just technique stuff, that will put us over the edge."

Thomas is the leading returning receiver and really only one of two players who has seen any significant action. Although he is being looked at as a leader he doesn't feel any additional pressure. Nor does he feel any real pressure to master the offense any faster. Right now everything seems to be going according to plan.

"You try not to look at it as pressure," Thomas explained. "That is why you come out here and practice it. So when it comes to game time, it is easy to take to."

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