Thomas Knows Mistakes Cost Him

For years Orlando Thomas was a major part of the Vikings defense. Now, hardly at all, and that has the safety frustrated.

Free safety Orlando Thomas, who was benched after the Nov. 11 loss at Philadelphia, spoke to the media this week for the first time since being replaced by Tyrone Carter.

"I don't like the situation that I'm in," Thomas said, "There's not much I can do about it right now but just try to be positive and help us win in whichever way that I can."

Thomas has been replaced in the lineup by Tyrone Carter and did not see any action in losses to Chicago and Pittsburgh. It's an unusual situation for Thomas, who has played a major role in the Vikings defense since being a second-round draft choice in 1995.

While Thomas is frustrated, he also feels a loyalty to coach Dennis Green.

Overall, Thomas feels he has played well this season, but he did say he has missed three good chances for interceptions and three other possible picks.

"I didn't make three plays that I probably should have made that might have been big during the course of the season," he said. "Other than that, everything I was supposed to be doing I was doing. … But evidently, with us not winning and I had a very bad game that particular time (against Philadelphia), Green did what he thought was best for the team."

Asked about Thomas' chances of getting back in the rotation, Green said: "I'm not sure. When you get beat out, that's what happens. I think that we haven't made a lot of changes defensively. We're playing better defense with the lineup that we have now. Part of that lineup includes Dale Carter, Robert Griffith, Tyrone Carter. When we got Dale and Robert back, we made a few changes to go along with it.

"We haven't made that many changes in our defensive front or linebacking, but that's probably the group we are going to play with right now. I don't know if we'll change or not. Orlando is one of our favorite players. I think he had a little bit of a bad streak, like a few other people did. We're playing a little bit better, so I think we'll stick with the lineup we have."

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