Chicago Bears: Pierre Thomas

Super Bowl XLIV: Final thoughts

February, 7, 2010
MIAMI -- Sitting on a bus in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to leave Sun Life Stadium has afforded me the opportunity to jot down a few final thoughts:
  • It's amazing how a short quarterback like Drew Brees can stand in the pocket and survey the entire field. Both Brees and Peyton Manning showed, for the most part, exactly how a quarterback is supposed to go through his reads and check down on certain plays. Even though Manning's late game interception was inexcusable, that 27-yard throw he made to Dallas Clark in the third quarter was incredible.
  • I still want Colts safety Antoine Bethea on the Chicago Bears next year. Too bad he'll be a restricted free agent if 2010 is played without a salary cap.
  • Saints running back Pierre Thomas was the most impressive person I interviewed this week. I had no idea he was so charismatic off the field. On the field, he's quickly developing into an upper echelon running back, and it's sad Ron Turner's pleas for the Bears to sign Thomas back in 2007 fell on deaf ears at Halas Hall.
  • For my money, there is not a single more exciting moment in sports than the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl. I've been lucky enough to cover the last six, and I get chills every single year when all those flashes go off around the stadium.
  • The crowd was dead when The Who performed at halftime. Maybe it's time the NFL went back to scheduling current acts for their Super Bowl halftime show. I nominate Lil' Wayne and Lady Gaga for 2011, but seeing that the game will be played in Dallas, I have a hunch it'll be a well-known country music performer.

Saints' Thomas shines in Super Bowl win

February, 7, 2010
[+] EnlargePierre Thomas
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesPierre Thomas celebrates after the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
MIAMI -- "We're Super Bowl champs, we're Super Bowl champs," former Illinois and current New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas kept repeating after his team’s 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Thomas played a major role in the Saints’ offensive attack, compiling 85 all-purpose yards, including a 16-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

"It was one of our regular screens we always run," Thomas said. "It was a quick little draw fake, and I thought I was going to get held up by one of their linemen, but luckily he fell down. My offensive line and receivers did a heck of a job setting up their blocks downfield, and I just read my blocks. All I kept thinking about was to get in that end zone because this was going to be a big momentum swing."

"Pierre is a great player with a lot of heart," fellow Illinois alum and Indianapolis defensive back Kelvin Hayden said.

So just how long is the party going to last in New Orleans?

"Forever," Thomas said, smiling wide.

Turner pushed for former Illini star Thomas

February, 2, 2010
Pierre Thomas
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireFormer Illini star Pierre Thomas has 1,095 all-purpose yards for the Saints this season.

MIAMI -- For a brief moment nearly three years ago, New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas thought he might end up playing for his hometown Chicago Bears after receiving a phone call from his former college coach, Ron Turner.

"[Turner, then the Bears offensive coordinator] definitely did give me call during the 2007 draft," Thomas said Tuesday at Super Bowl media day. "He scared me a little bit because I thought it was the phone call I was waiting for. It was the third round in the draft, and I got [caller ID] saying Turner, I was like please tell me this is the phone call I've been waiting for."

It wasn't.

"He just wanted to wish me best of luck and [that] he's been telling those guys [Bears] about me, trying to pull for me," Thomas said.

Turner's sales job fell short as Thomas ended up signing with the Saints as an undrafted free agent, and is now a major cog in coach Sean Payton's offense -- 1,095 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns in the 2009 regular season.

"I know Turner did his best to try to get me there, but hey, I'm with a good team right now," Thomas said.