Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has been one of the biggest surprises in 2021. The former third overall pick was on The Jim Rome Show recently and spoke on current events.
To say this season has been eventful would be putting it lightly following Jon Gruden’s resignation. The team either could’ve floundered or thrived, and the Raiders have done the latter. The Silver and Black’s defense has had a resurgence this season led by Gus Bradley. In particular, the Raiders find themselves with one of the league’s best defensive lines. That unit is led by veteran coach Rod Marinelli, and one of its main components has been Thomas. Formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, Thomas has revived his career in Las Vegas after playing in only two games in 2020. He’s accumulated two and a half sacks, deflected two passes, and 11 QB pressures per Pro Football Reference.
Fresh off a game with four total tackles versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Thomas joined Rome’s show to talk everything Raiders.
‘Life has been good, we’re 5-2, we’ve really come together as a team, unfortunately we’ve had some adversity the last couple of weeks but we’ve been able to pull together.’
Thomas emphasized the importance of the bye week given all the recent news. Not only does the team head into it with two straight wins, but they’ll have a chance to recharge and keep the momentum going.
The Comeback KidÂ
Thomas also reflected on his free agency experience this year. In addition, he shared his excitement about playing with current Raiders such as Maxx Crosby and Johnathan Hankins. To his credit, Thomas has been stellar in Silver and Black, posting aÂ Pro Football Focus grade of 71.3 in the pass-rushing department. Thomas is no stranger to adversity having fought back from an injury-riddled year in 2020, giving credit to Scott Herrera at Legacy Performance in Dallas. However, in his first season with the Raiders, Thomas has helped lead his team in the face of another kind of adversity.
The Raiders have united in the face of adversity
The Gruden scandal rocked the NFL, resulting in his outing but the team has remained focused. Thomas spoke on both the team’s reaction and his own personal response.
‘It was very tough times as a team, as someone you look up to, the head coach is the leader and someone you hold in high regard and fight behind. To see what happened was tough, [but also] how we found out, I found out on Twitter. It was able to bring us together as a team though, we’re in shock and we don’t know where to go next. That’s when our leaders stepped up; Derek Carr, Darren Waller, Maxx Crosby, we all get behind those guys, they push us together.’
Not only did players on the team step up, but the lineman mentioned that Mike Mayock and interim coach Rich Bisaccia rallied the team. Both of them emphasized that the organization is in a good spot record-wise, and in the standings with plenty of games to go, the team was far from dead. Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if the Silver and Black can continue this streak in what has been a comeback year for Thomas.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/John Locher