NFL Nation: Michael Grant

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

In my official role as the Redskins whisperer, I'm often allowed to line up (brief) phone interviews for the blog. You guys asked for second-year wide receiver Devin Thomas, so that's who we delivered. And on Wednesday, he answered a few of your (thoughtful) questions.

 
  Geoff Burke/US PRESSWIRE
  Devin Thomas says he's become smarter about his preparation for practice and games.

Now it's time to unveil what else Thomas told me during our rollicking visit that touched on fascinating topics such as his Google searches (for himself) and his day trips through Shenandoah Valley. For those of you interested in football, we also touched on Thomas' disappointing rookie season. OK, let's get to it. Please enjoy Thomas' fireside chat with the Beast:

[Always start with a softball] MM: So how are OTAs going?

DT: Pretty good. [Jason] Campbell and I hooked up for a touchdown on a double move today, so that was a nice feeling.

MM: Who did you burn?

DT: A young guy [safety Michael] Grant. We got him on the double move, but he still ended up making some plays.

MM: How beneficial is it for you that you can compete against guys like DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers in practice?

DT: It's huge being able to go up against some of the top competitors in the league at that position. And they give me instant feedback. They'll tell me what tendencies they're picking up on and how I can do certain things better. All three of them -- Fred [Smoot], D-Hall and Carlos -- have the same abilities, so there are some good battles to be had.

MM: What did you make of Jason Campbell's offseason?

DT: I pretty much talked to him through the entire thing. And we just kept working hard together. When things got boiling [with the pursuit of Jay Cutler], I sent him a text to let him know I was with him. He's a self-motivator, and his mind he was still the Redskins quarterback. That wasn't changing unless they were going to ship him off -- and it never happened. People have been playing my abilities, too. Jason and I will have the same little grudge this season. We'll have a little chip on our shoulder, so we'll want to showcase what we've been working on.

MM: Why did you seem to have a tough time making the adjustment from college to this level? You and Malcolm Kelly both seemed to have some issues in training camp.

DT: It was just trying to get comfortable in the daily situations. I showed up in pretty good shape, but you really have to take care of your body. I had to learn the hard way to balance my speed in practice because I went out and pulled a hamstring early on. I can stay out there longer because I'm smarter about how I prepare. I'm a speed guy, so I was basically trying to fly around people all the time in practice. Santana [Moss] has helped me learn how to balance my speed a lot better. He also talked to me about setting up defensive backs. I can be looking inside with my eyes and suddenly explode outside. In college, you could sort of run past everyone. It's different here.

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