Mike Thomas' development in his second season is a by-product of the young receiver learning how to avoid injuries, the way we hear it. Thomas had a successful rookie campaign, setting the franchise rookie record for receptions with 48, but a hamstring injury plagued him early in 2009. When the same injury popped up again this summer, some insiders wondered if it would become a trend. Thomas battled through the injury, however, to earn a starting job this season, and head coach Jack Del Rio thinks that his young receiver's success is a testament to Thomas having a better understanding of his body and "staying out of fifth gear during practice." The maturation has allowed him to work through some muscle tightness, in turn avoiding more serious ailments. As a result, Thomas has become QB David Garrard's favorite target on third down, while also adding an explosive element to the running attack and punt-return game.