In an up-and-down 2012 season, the Miami Dolphins do have a pleasant surprise to point to. The emergence of Marcus Thigpen as a legit and reliable return man is a sure positive for this current squad, and is something that looks good going forward too.
Coming out of Indiana University, Thigpen spent time with several different organizations. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) all had Thigpen in camp/practice at some point. He was even with Miami briefly. In 2010 and 2011 he had a lot of success with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL). Thigpen scored TDs in numerous different ways, and established himself as a legit kick returner.
As the calendar turned to 2012 the Dolphins brought him back in to their mix. He showed enough to earn a chance to be their main return man. He has not disappointed, and he has not looked back. Thigpen has played in all 10 games. He is averaging 29.4 yards per kick return (that is #3 in the NFL, and he has almost twice as many returns as #1 and #2). For punts returns, Thiggy averages 13.6 yards per return, which is 4th best in the NFL.
Miami has not been in the top-5 for kick returns in the 2000′s, but Thigpen is on pace to change that (Miami finished as high as #7 twice). Miami has not been in the top-5 for punt returns since Wes Welker was #4 in 2004.
Thigpen is under contract for 2 more seasons and I think he is a guy who is going to set team records. The Dolphins all-time kick return leader for TDs is Mercury Morris with 3. The Dolphins all-time leaders for punt return TDs are Freddie Soloman, Tommy Vigorito, and O.J. McDuffie each with 2. The 26-year old Thigpen has 1 of each, and is just getting started. Thigpen has a history at every level of taking kicks to the house.
Thigpen burns a 4.47/40 yard dash. I feel like at times he looks even faster. It looks to me that Thigpen and the Dolphins are a great fit now, and for the next several years. Dolfans are excited about him, and I see why.
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