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Thursday, June 19, 2014
Chiefs need to put Thomas’ speed to use

By Adam Teicher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rookie De'Anthony Thomas hasn’t been a constant at Kansas City Chiefs' offseason practice, which concludes Thursday. He had to skip 10 of their 16 practices because of NFL rules prohibiting players from participating while their college was still in session, as Oregon was until last week.

But Thomas has been around enough to flash his speed, which is world class. The Chiefs have used Thomas at running back, as a wide receiver and as a kickoff and punt returner, or as Thomas said, “a little bit of everywhere.’’

The Chiefs need to put that speed to good use. There’s a limit to how much they can play Thomas, who at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds probably isn’t the most durable player around. In his first practice in the true heat of a Kansas City summer this week, Thomas couldn’t cope and had to leave the field early.

At a minimum, the Chiefs need to use Thomas as their return specialist. He’s the best they have. On offense, they should be able to pick their spots and get him the ball a few times every game. Though he had to miss a majority of offseason practice, he would Skype regularly while he was gone with running backs coach Eric Bieniemy to review practice video and go over his assignments.

If the Chiefs can get the ball to Thomas just 10 times a game, they should see the reward.