"Blind leading the blind" - Michael Thomas claps back at critics who claim he can run only one route

Michael Thomas' achievements have been belittled by some fans online
Michael Thomas' achievements have been belittled by some fans online

Michael Thomas, the New Orleans Saints wideout who missed much of the 2020 season and the entire 2021 season, may have fallen out of the public eye temporarily.

This shouldn't distract NFL fans from what was an astounding 2019 season in which he set multiple records on the way to winning Offensive Player of the Year.

However, when many NFL fans took a look at Michael Thomas' overall numbers, they believed that they noticed something. Despite having a record 149 receptions, Thomas managed just 1,725 yards, which some fans believed was a rather low total.

Those who wished to detract from Thomas' stellar season pointed out that he could only run one route and nicknamed him 'Slant Boy'. Michael Thomas is clapping back at those detractors, calling them blind.

Blind leading the blind.…

The tweet the star Saints wide receiver responded to intimated that Thomas was so good that people just couldn't wrap their heads around it. As a result, they had to come up with a reason as to why he wasn't actually good.

They centered on a relatively low 11.6 yards-per-reception statistic. With a record number of catches, one might think that the wideout should have had more yards. In fact, Thomas' yards-per-catch numbers from that year don't even rank in the top 250 all time.


Still, that shouldn't detract from what was a stellar season and shouldn't downplay the talent of one of the game's best pass-catchers.

Why NFL fans have called Michael Thomas 'Slant Boy'

For the most part, whenever an NFL player has success, they earn a few detractors too. Tom Brady has had a large group of naysayers during his entire career. Many tried to write Patrick Mahomes off after a rough stretch last season.

The late Kobe Bryant once said:

"If you don't have haters, you aren't doing something right."

This applies to Michael Thomas as well. No one would bother to try and detract from an average wide receiver without the accolades that the former Ohio State product has.

The “Slant Boy” agenda is fake. #Saints Michael Thomas runs deep routes, but what is even more impressive is his ability to contort his body in anyway to make the catch. His catch radius is the best in the league, by far, and now he has Jamies, a young QB with a cannon. #WhoDat

Taking a look at Thomas' numbers from that 2019 season, one can see where the 'Slant Boy' nickname originated. Thomas finished first in receptions and receiving yards and third in touchdowns and yards after catch.

His number of deep targets was only 72nd in the league, though. That's a low number for the top wideout on any team. His average target distance was 89th, so it's not ridiculous to say that Thomas might have utilized short routes a lot.


However, in terms of yards per route run, Michael Thomas ranked third in the league, which should effectively dispel any 'Slant Boy' nicknames. It won't, but it probably should.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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