Josh Thomas: Jets didn't engage

ByMichael Rothstein ESPN logo
Thursday, December 18, 2014

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When cornerback Josh Thomas was cut from the New York Jets days after his luggage, playbook and passport were stolen from an extended stay hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey, he said the team told him part of the reason he was being let go was that he didn't engage enough with his teammates.

On Thursday, his first with the Detroit Lions, Thomas said the Jets coaches didn't really engage with him while he was a player, either.

"I feel like I wasn't given the attention necessary as far as being engaged from the coach-to-player standpoint and knowing the things I need to work on," Thomas said. "It became where I was there as a player and wanting and desiring some feedback that wasn't given. So sometimes I may have been standing there with a [deer-in-headlight] look in my eyes trying to figure out what I needed to do.

"So at the same time, just from the past experiences, every organization operates differently -- so it could be the way that the Jets operate. I just want to be great. I want to get better every day. I look forward to enhancing something about my game every day, and [the Jets] were just more independent there."

Thomas said New York was much different than his experiences in Seattle, Carolina and even his first day with the Lions -- all of which he said were more hands-on than the Jets staff.

Thomas said it was New York's overall staff -- and not just head coach Rex Ryan or his position coach, Tim McDonald -- that didn't really engage much with him.

"I just think that the system was different," Thomas said. "It was how they operated. It's part of being a professional, you have to figure it out on your own. Had to figure my playbook out on my own. You know, so, I just really missed what I needed to improve, really missed that feedback.

"The feedback that they gave me was that I needed to engage."

Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman was asked to respond to Thomas' comments -- specifically, his claim that he wasn't coached.

"I don't have a thought either way," Thurman said. "I wish him nothing but the best. ... If that's how he feels, well, since he's talking, maybe you guys should ask him. I would defer to him."

His first day in Detroit, Thomas said he received feedback every time he came to the sidelines after a rep on special teams.

"It was refreshing, like, 'Thanks for coaching me,'" Thomas said.

This change comes after his passport, Jets playbook and his wife's anniversary gift were stolen out of his rental car after he brought Christmas presents up to his hotel at around 2:30 a.m. The next morning he came down to his rental car and found his luggage and his possessions had been stolen.

When the Jets released him, he said the franchise asked him if he had his iPad, charger or anything Jets affiliated. Due to the robbery, he did not and said he has to pay the Jets for them. He estimated he lost around $12,000 worth of items.

"I've been doing a good job saving my money while I've been playing," Thomas said. "It's a learning experience that other players and other people can take.

"At least it's a tax write-off."

Information from ESPNNewYork's Rich Cimini was used in this report.