by: Omar Kelly November 15th, 2010 | 7:50 AM Tyler Thigpen’s clutch performance in Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans might have taken South Florida by surprise, but it certainly didn’t shock the Miami Dolphins defense.http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_fo ... igpen.html
As the Dolphins’ former third-string quarterback Thigpen’s responsible for getting the first-team defense ready for it’s opponent. Each week he’s a nightmare to defend because of his ability to improvise and make unorthodox plays.
Is Tyler Thigpen starter material?
“He’s got something,” cornerback Sean Smith said. “He’s always fun to watch.”
Not so fun to play against because he’s a gambling playmaker. Titans coach Jeff Fisher knew this before Sunday’s game because his team has faced Thigpen in 2008.
In that game, a 34-10 loss, Thigpen completed 5-of-11 passes for 75 yards, and gained 21 yards and scored a touchdown on three carries for the Chiefs.
After entering that game as a reserve in the second half Thigpen was named the Chiefs starter, a position he’d hold for the final 10 games.
“He has a great future,” Fisher said of Thigpen on Sunday.
“It’s huge when you can put the next guy in and not miss a beat. And in some cased gain a beat,” defensive end Kendall Langford said. “Tyler played great for us.”
For those interested in a little background in Thigpen here’s a story I wrote on the eve of training camp’s start back in late July.
It was titled: GAMBLING QB: Does Tyler Thigpen have discipline to be Dolphins’ No. 2?
This Thursday we’ll learn if he has the skills to become the the Dolphins starting quarterback.
Here’s the story:
Armed with a penchant for improvisation, Tyler Thigpen openly admits he only knows how to play football one way: relying heavily on instinct.
If shares of Thigpen were sold on the market, he might be declared a junk bond because there’s a high level of risk associated with this self-declared gambler.
But the Miami Dolphins also realize Thigpen could significantly enhance the team’s portfolio because he’s the type of quarterback that could produce a big return if managed properly.
“When you’ve relied on your natural instinct for so long it’s hard to shut it off or tell it to be quiet,” said Thigpen, whose unorthodox style allowed the Dolphins to make last year’s season finale against Pittsburgh competitive.
In that game, Thigpen took over when Chad Henne and Pat White both suffered injuries. Thigpen rallied the team from a 27-10 fourth-quarter deficit. He led the offense to two touchdowns (throwing for one) late in the fourth quarter, but he also threw two interceptions in the game’s closing minutes to seal the 30-24 loss.
But he kept things exciting, which is the norm during practices.
“He’s a player,” said receiver Brian Hartline. “He gets out there and competes. It might not be textbook all the time, but the dude produces and makes plays. I think Tyler is a good player.”
Thigpen, 26, admits the biggest challenge he faces this camp is to stay within the framework of the offense. Quarterback coach David Lee has been working with him on it all offseason, and now everyone will learn how much this wild quarterback can be tamed.
“At this level it’s important to stay back there, make your reads and not have happy feet. I’m trying to learn I don’t have to go out there and try to make the big play every time,” said Thigpen, who completed 54 percent of his passes, threw for 2,608 yards, and ran for another 386 yards in his 11 starts for the Chiefs in 2008. “I’m learning to just take what [the defense] gives me. Keep taking it and they will allow you to make the big plays if you read it properly.”
And have the patience and discipline to wait on it, which is what Thigpen’s gunning for.