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Michael Thomas puts together strong performance in NFL debut

Former 49ers defensive back Michael Thomas had a big day in his professional debut with the Miami Dolphins. Thomas signed with the Dolphins last week after spending a season and a half on the 49ers practice squad. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Mike Ehrmann

I realize we're a San Francisco 49ers blog, but when a former 49ers player steps up with a big performance, there can be times it's worth a post. This is one of those times.

Last week, defensive back Michael Thomas left the 49ers practice squad to sign with the Miami Dolphins. Thomas had spent all of 2012 and 14 weeks of 2013 on the 49ers practice squad. On Sunday, injuries forced him into the Dolphins lineup as their nickel back. Considering the Dolphins were facing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, this was just a slightly high profile moment for the young defensive back.

Thomas proceeded to break up a pass on one play, and then seal the game with an interception on the Patriots final play. No big deal!

It was a great moment for Thomas, who has toiled away in obscurity for the last two seasons. It seemed like he might have a shot to claim a roster spot out of training camp as a reserve nickel back and safety, but it didn't quite pan out. I am convinced he would have made the roster next season, but it was not to be. That being said, I still think he deserves congratulations for a strong performance.

Peter King wrote up his performance, but I think King was putting on too much of a hard sell about Thomas' lac of experience at cornerback. It was one of the toughest situations he could face in his professional debut, but I don't think we can take away from the work Thomas has done as nickel back. He was listed as a safety, but remember that he spent plenty of time in the preseason working as the slot corner. He had worked his butt off and shown he could handle such roles. Sunday against the Patriots, he was provided with an opportunity to show what he can do, and he did it.

I don't want to take away from the moment, but it wasn't just dumb luck that Michael Thomas made those plays. He had prepared himself for this moment, and when the moment arose, it was not too big for him. Congratulations to Michael Thomas.