Same old Zach

Do you remember a few months ago, before training camp started, when there were concerns about how good a fit Zach Thomas would be in Nick Saban's defense because it employs a lot of 3-4 formations, and 3-4 alignments usually feature linebackers with a lot more size than Thomas has. That whole notion looks kind of silly right now, doesn't it?

Thomas has been nothing short of spectacular so far this season and the argument could be made that he's playing as well as he's ever played.

And that's saying a whole lot considering how consistent Thomas has been since joining the Dolphins as an unheralded fifth-round pick out of Texas Tech in 1996?

But should we really be surprised by Thomas' fast start?

I mean, this isn't exactly the first time that Thomas has defied logic and made projections about him look silly.

Of course, everything starts with him winning a starting job as a rookie, beating out veteran Jack Del Rio in the process. Yes, the same Jack Del Rio who is now the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Thomas has been a great player for the Dolphins for many years, but the suspicion had been that he benefited greatly from a defensive system designed to protect the middle linebacker and let him run free to make tackles.

And, quite honestly, there is something to that. Thomas, in fact, was always very quick to point to Tim Bowens and Larry Chester as being major factors in his success.

But the other thing about Thomas always has been his work ethic, his nonstop studying, his constant quest to get better.

And that never should have been underestimated.

Yes, the 3-4 defense is better suited for bigger linebackers, but Thomas is still an undersized linebacker.

And he's still as good as ever. If not better.


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