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Interview: Washington Football TE Logan Thomas

ASHBURN, VA -- August 28, 2020 Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas speaks to the media after practice on Friday morning.

On his rapport with QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:

“It’s going well. Dwayne’s doing a great job every day of getting better. That’s the biggest thing I see in him, is every day is a step forward, not a step back. I’m just trying to do my job and trying to make him feel comfortable.”

On what he has been focusing on improving:

“Just a little bit of everything. This offense asks us to do a lot of things, and to be good at a lot of things. You just can’t be one-dimensional. So, every day is a learning process for me. I just try to get one step better and move forward every single day.”

On where he is different in his position this year:

“I think it’s just understanding. I know what defenses are going to try to do. I think I understand what techniques to use in the run game, what techniques to use in the pass game, what windows to hit in the pass game. Just being able to play as much as I did last year and get a good feel in Detroit, I think that helped me going into this year.”

On if he can be an effective target in the red zone:

“I just want to be somebody [Dwayne’s] confident in to make a play. I think that’s the reason we have such a connection because if he throws it to me, nothing bad is going to happen. It’s either going to be a catch or an incompletion. I think that’s the way you’ve got to look at it. In the red zone, hopefully my size will help make a play down there. If not, then somebody else makes one. That’s just who we are on this team. If not me, then it’s somebody else.”

On the importance of a quarterback having a reliable tight end:

“I think a tight end is one of the most important positions on the field just because of what we are asked to do. Obviously, you want to be that guy that they know if something breaks down, you just flick it out to them and they’ll get you the couple tough, hard yards that put you in—if it’s like a third-and-short, it makes third down a little bit easier. Obviously, you want to be the guy that can catch a ball downfield and make a play as well. I think the tight end position in general is just a position that you’ve got to do everything. You’ve got to have the confidence from everybody as well.”

On his relationship with TE Marcus Baugh:

“Me and Marcus have got a good relationship. He’s a good kid. He’s funny, he’s smart and he works hard. That’s all you can ask from a young guy. He’s doing really well. He’s a very athletic guy, so hopefully between the two of us we can do some stuff. But it’s not just us two, there are other guys in the room that are extremely talented as well. TE Hale [Hentges], TE [Jeremy Sprinkle] and TE Richard [Rodgers], they’ve been doing well and making plays out here as well. I think we’ve just got a good room in general.”

On if he can establish himself in Washington:

“Absolutely, that’s the plan. I don’t go into any year just thinking it’s going to be one year there. I play with a bigger chip on my shoulder than just one year. I want to play that year out the best I can and hopefully earn something for the next year. It just so happens that I’ve bounced around. Whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate, either way, I’m blessed to be here on the Washington Football Team. I’m thankful. Hopefully I have a good year and I’m able to stay around here for years to come.”

On why offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense is a fit for him:

“Coach Turner’s done a great job, not only in Carolina but also in Minnesota. You can look at [former Carolina TE] Greg [Olsen] and see the years that he’s had, you can see the years the guys in Minnesota have had as well at tight end. I think as a tight end you want to be asked to do everything. You don’t just want to be one-dimensional. That’s what this offense does.”

On how important tight ends are in this offense:

“Multiple sets in general, so multiple tight ends, multiple running backs and then you spread the receivers out, it makes the defense think. If the defense has to think and they get out of a gap, that’s when big plays happen. That’s what this offense really does. You put people in positions to make plays, but you also put people in positions where they’re comfortable. You also do it to mess with the defense. If you can do all of those three things very well, then that’s when you have an offense that’s clicking and really cooking.”

On if tight ends are featured more in this offense:

“I’m really not sure with that question. I think the tight ends in general are big and important to the game of football, not just here in Washington, but you can look around and see what the tight end position does.”

On the tone Head Coach Ron Rivera has been setting in camp:

“I really like Coach Rivera. He is exactly what I thought he was from what I could see on the outside. He’s a guy that if something is not done right in the offense, he’ll step into the offense and say, ‘Just worry about this play. This play right here, and then the next play we’ll worry about that when it comes.’ He’s just kind of a calming voice in the middle of practice, but he’s also a guy you can really get to understand. He really pushes you to get better.”

On being on the Covid-19 list at the beginning of camp:

“I hated it. You had to be at home for 10 days, just kind of sitting there, the rest of your teammates are out there getting better. But I mean, I guess now looking back on it I don’t really have a worry about dealing with it for the rest of this year. I mean I guess that’s a blessing that’s a way I can look at it. But for those 10 days, I didn’t look at it in that way. Thankfully, I was blessed enough not to have any symptoms. Nobody in my family had any symptoms and everybody’s healthy. I guess that’s the best way I can look at it. I’m just looking forward to going on with the rest of the season.”

On if he knew he had Covid-19:

“He called me the next morning—I guess the morning of the 29th since I did the test on the 28th—and said that I tested positive. I was like, ‘Really?’ I had no idea. I don’t know where I got it, how I got it or where it came from.”

On his passion in practice:

“I strive to be as perfect as I can be. I’m upset with myself, not with anybody else when I mess up. I demand to be great. I want to be great, so when I do something stupid, it’s kind of the way it comes out.”

On how Rivera has handled the offseason and how he differs from other coaches:

“He’s just very calm. He’s laid back, he’s relaxed and it’s like nothing ever gets to him. He just takes the punches as they come, and that’s kind of what he preaches to us: ‘Sometimes you can’t do anything about what’s dealt to you. You just take it and then you process it, and then you go do what you have to do for it.’ For him being any different from any guys around the league, there’s not really—everybody’s different in their own way. [Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia]’s a little bit more excitable, more in-your-face. Ron’s a little bit more laid back, kind of like [Bills Head Coach Sean] McDermott is in Buffalo. Those are three guys I’ve really gotten to know over the last couple years, obviously. But with Ron, I have mad respect for him. Just the way he handles everything—especially with his diagnosis and everything—everything’s just been straight kilter. It’s hasn’t changed at all. You can’t even tell if he’s having a bad day, you’d never know. All he wants to do is make us better and keep pushing us forward.”

On working with tight ends coach Pete Hoener:

“Pete’s got a little juice to him, for sure. But that’s how he gets his guys to be as good as they are. His guys in Carolina obviously loved him. His guys in Carolina also played very well for him as well. That’s what he’s trying to get out of us. I think as a player you respect who he is because he doesn’t change. That’s who he is every single day. That’s what you want. From myself, I hear him. You kind of just process it and take it as it goes. But, me and Pete have a good relationship. I’m thankful for him.”

On professional athletes pausing play and practice for social justice:

“I think it’s a beautiful time when it comes to that. I think the word needs to get out. I think everybody needs to come together for one purpose, and that’s just life betterment for everybody. You know, I’m thankful for the opportunities to play this game. Within the walls of this locker room, it’s seen different than it is out there in real life. Once you get out there in real life, everything opens back up. For me and myself, I’m half black and half white. I’m kind of stuck in the middle. I see both sides. But, I favor with the Black Lives Matter side, simply because lives in general matter. The things that are happening around the world, around the United States especially, things must stop. It’s time to put a stop down. For us, we’ve got to share our experiences with the world. And not only us sharing, but people have to listen as well. I think that’s what it really boils down to, is everybody’s got to come to an understanding and knowledge, and then what steps do we need to take moving forward?”

On the offense allowing players to be versatile:

“Honestly, before I signed here they didn’t say much about that. But, knowing the offense and seeing what they’ve done with other guys, like [Carolina receiver] Curtis Samuel, the way they gave him the ball on a couple jet sweeps, I know they know how to use skillsets and want to use those skillsets. Like I said earlier, it makes the defenses think. If you make the defenses think, it makes it a little easier on the offenses.”

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