Thursday, March 11, 2010
Zach Thomas wants Fins to get Marshall
By Tim Graham
Zach Thomas will donate his brain to science some day. For now, he's willing to share the thoughts rattling around inside it.
The all-decade inside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins was a guest on Miami sports-radio station WQAM and tackled several topics about his former team with host Sid Rosenberg.
Thomas advised the Dolphins to sign Denver Broncos restricted free agent Brandon Marshall to an offer sheet and to bring back veteran pass-rusher Jason Taylor to avoid a leadership depletion like the New England Patriots suffered last year.
The Dolphins have needed a go-to receiver for years. Rosenberg asked Thomas what he would say if Bill Parcells approached him about Marshall.
"Do it now before anybody changes their mind," Thomas said per Palm Beach Post reporter Brian Biggane.
The Broncos placed a first-round tender on Marshall, tempting other teams to sign him. The Dolphins own the 12th pick of the draft.
"With Brandon Marshall it's about money," Thomas said. "If you pay the guy well, he's going to play hard. He even played hard last year. He's got a lot of pride, and he can be a little selfish, but good players are selfish. Look at a guy like Terrell [Owens]. Guys can go to extremes. But Brandon Marshall is a proven player. He's still young, and I feel he's best in the league right now."
Thomas claimed Marshall would make all of Miami's receivers better -- even Ted Ginn. Thomas emphasized that Marshall is a proven commodity, unlike someone like Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, whom the Dolphins could draft instead.
Thomas also insisted the Dolphins need to bring back Taylor, his brother-in-law.
"You have to have that veteran leadership," Thomas said. "You just lost Joey Porter, just lost Jason Taylor, and trust me you need that blend, especially on defense. You need that experience. They re-signed Jason Ferguson, but being [suspended the first] eight weeks, I'm concerned about how they can keep that defensive line intact.
"Look at New England, what they did to their defense. They lost Mike Vrabel, they lost [Tedy] Bruschi, [Richard] Seymour, Rodney Harrison, and you see how they dropped off last year.
"Everybody talked about Tom Brady not being as good because of his injury. That had nothing to do with it. He had less opportunities. The defense is what won a lot of games for them in the past. So you need that blend."
Thomas retired last year because of an accumulation of concussions. He has pledged his brain to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine for research on the long-term impact of football-related head trauma.
He will tour training camps this summer to speak with players about the importance of being vigilant about concussion symptoms.