Buffalo’s greatest offensive player entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame on this date in 2007. Thurman Thomas was the key to the famous “No Huddle” offense. From his halfback position he was the guy who created all the mis-matches for a defense. I always imagined something like this was rattling around the head of every defensive coordinator he faced: Is he going to run and if so, how do we stop him? Will he stay in and block? Will he run a pass pattern and if he does who is the poor soul that has to cover him? He’ll destroy any linebacker who tries to run with him. He’s too elusive for a strong safety. If we cover him with a DB who covers #83! What about Beebe? I can’t take my fastest corner off of Lofton. It was Thurman who gave Ted Marchibroda and Jim Kelly a menu of options that led to 4 AFC championships.
With all due respect to Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders who both may have been better pure runners, Thurman was the complete package and all-around player. His 472 receptions to go along with 12,074 rushing yards and his four consecutive years leading the NFL in total yards from scrimmage is all you need to say. Thurman Thomas was the best offensive weapon of his generation.