Pete Thomas is the highest rated quarterback the Colorado St. Rams have landed since Bradlee Van Pelt, or at least since recruiting rankings have been keep online since 2002. Thomas started from day one for the Rams, but he was never allowed to do to much rather then throw short screen and bubble passes in the first few games of the season. Do not let his 2,666 yards which was good enough to be third in the Mountain West, because he was forced to throw the ball 32 times per game which was top in the Mountain West in 2011.
Head coach Steve Fairchild brought Thomas along to slow in the season and early in games. There were games where Thomas looked great but the game was out of hand, so there could have been backups in the game which allowed Thomas to look better. Had Fairchild loosened the reigns on the passing playbook in the first and second quarters then the Rams might have been in more games once the fourth quarter came around instead of trying to play catchup.
Thomas did show signs of being able to make tight passes, but he was restricted early on and was not able to utilize the Ram playbook with downfield passing plays.
A pat of the reason for the quick passes was because the Ram offensive line allowed 44 sacks which was worst in the Mountain West and 117th in the country. Thomas is an athletic player, but getting pressure play after play can make even the most athletic quarterback vulnerable.
Thomas will have some help with a more experienced starting offensive line with three seniors, a junior and a sophomore. Also, include the running game should be improved and that unit shined in the spring game. Those two things if they are improved as expected then the Rams have a shot at a winning season as well as helping Pete Thomas have a breakout season.
Ultimately it goest back to the play calling from head coach Steve Fairchild and offensive coordinator Pat Meyer. The early season schedule for the Rams is very favorable with their first five games against teams with losing records and then out of their first eight games only Boise State had a winning record and UTEP went to a bowl game. So, the playbook should be opened up to allow Thomas to showcase his arm and give the team confidence with Thomas under center.
My opinion let Thomas lose, especially in the first two games which come against New Mexico and Northern Colorado.
Ram fans are hoping to see this version of Pete Thomas in 2011: