49ers Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio spoke to the media following yesterday's practice. He discussed a wide range of things, obviously, but one of which was the progression of Michael Thomas, a Stanford product who went undrafted this off-season.
Fangio has obviously coached Thomas in the past, having been the DC for the Cardinal prior to joining the 49ers. He's not the only one, either, as several of the 49ers current coaching staff is comprised of former Stanford coaches.
A few things I thought were particularly interesting about what Fangio said were as follows:
Fangio was discussing the nickel-back (no, not the ear-bleeding-inducing band) position...players such as Perrish Cox, Carlos Rogers, and...Michael Thomas?
Yep, it seems Thomas "can do it", too, according to Fangio.
This seems to increase Thomas' versatility and in-turn value to the roster. Granted he'd be a backup safety and nickel-back...but you need guys you can dress on game-days that can cover multiple spots.
It may be something of a long-shot considering Thomas was undrafted and faces second-year players such as Colin Jones and Mark LeGree...but the familiarity factor is certainly there via the Stanford connection.
After the jump, one more thing Fangio said regarding the young safety, Thomas.
When asked about the young safeties, Fangio said that Trenton Robinson was coming along, getting better each day, yadda, yadda...but then he also said that Thomas was a very smart football player, a "heady" guy who knows a lot about the game.
It sounds to me like the staff has a soft-spot for their former college player, and maybe, hopefully, for good reason. Lord knows the team could use solid options behind Dashon Goldson, who's playing on a single-year franchise tender in 2012.
Meanwhile, I've heard very little whatsoever about Jones or LeGree. It's early, but perhaps Thomas can leapfrog some guys and find a way to latch-on as a member of the 53.