Tight end David Thomas is stepping up in a leadership role for the New Orleans Saints as the team deals with the absence of franchised quarterback Drew Brees and the fallout of the "bounty" suspensions, Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune reported Friday.
"I just kind of told the guys, 'Look, I was part of something similar to this, and it wasn't the end of the world,' " Thomas said of his time with the Spygate-era New England Patriots, where he played from 2006 until 2008, when he was traded to the Saints.
"It's a time where a lot of people in our organization are under attack. And I feel like we kind of went through that a little bit in New England with all that stuff," Thomas said.
"And there were things being written about our team and about our coaches and attacking their character that we definitely felt were not true. So we just focused on what we could control and eliminated distractions and played for each other. ... We were able to play as a team and have success."
After catching 65 passes for 575 yards and three touchdowns in his first two seasons in New Orleans, Thomas had five receptions and 16 yards in five games before a second concussion ended his 2011 season and threatened his career. Thomas will keep playing after meeting with several doctors across the country, and the Saints can use his versatility and blocking on the field and what he brings to the locker room.