New Miami CB Michael Thomas earns AFC defensive honor
DEC 18, 2013 9:57a ET
After deciding to check his phone during a break in between meetings, Thomas received a text from his college roommate at Stanford, Corey Gatewood, congratulating him on an award.
Soon after more messages began piling in letting him know he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Miami's 24-20 victory over the visiting Patriots on Sunday.
"That was the biggest 'wow' moment," Thomas said. "( Randy) Starks and Mike Wallace said, 'Just live it up. Build on it. Embrace it, don't try to just move on from it because it doesn't happen often. Your story's unique.' "
Thomas, who arrived in South Florida last Tuesday after the Dolphins acquired him from the 49ers practice squad, recorded two tackles, two passes defensed and the game-clinching interception in the end zone.
The 24-year-old was making his NFL debut and had no reps in practice leading up to the game. His only duty heading into the matchup was punt coverage.
When Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll exited with injuries, however, Thomas was thrust into the secondary.
"Once that happened I had to trust my teammates and trust my preparation," Thomas said. "I feel blessed to make those plays. It's been a great experience."
Thomas joins Olivier Vernon (Week 13) and Cameron Wake (Week 9) as Miami's recipients of the honor this season.
"I thought our staff did a good job -- you've got a guy coming off the plane and get him acclimated into the system as quickly as you can," coach Joe Philbin said. "Let's face it, this is a bright young man. Eager like most of us when you go to work for a new employer and you want to make a good impression."