Hollis Thomas Provides Bulk and Experience to St. Louis Rams' Defense

John MartinContributor IJuly 30, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 10:  Hollis Thomas #99 of the New Orleans Saints yells out during the game against the Atlanta Falcons on December 10, 2007 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The Saints defeated the Falcons 34-14.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Hollis Thomas was signed by the Rams on this week. At 35, Thomas is not exactly part of the Rams’ youth movement, but he will serve well as a situational run stopper in the Rams’ defensive line rotation. 

Listed at 335 pounds, Thomas will be the heaviest defensive tackle the Rams have on the rooster by a good 20-pound margin. Even though he signed Wednesday and was not required to report until Friday, he joined training camp one day early.

Thomas provides some depth and experience (13 years) behind starters Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan. Besides Carriker and Ryan, only the rookie Darell Scott from Clemson appears to be the only other viable starter at defensive tackle. Although, Victor Adeyanju has taken some snaps at the defensive tackle position. 

The Rams had been looking to add some depth at the defensive tackle possible when they acquired Orien Harris in a trade with Cincinnati for Brian Leonard in May of this year. Harris was recently dealt to Detroit for wide receiver Ronald Curry and reviewed in a previous article. Personally, I don’t know what the Rams saw in Harris, although Curry was a good addition.

Thomas provides some much-needed experience and depth at the position and has a history with Steve Spagnuolo in Philadelphia before heading New Orleans

Given the Rams’ poor run defense last season, an improvement is needed and a wide body, even situational, will help. He will not start and has limited fantasy value as a run stopper,  but with a one-year contract reportedly at the veteran’s minimum, he adds more credibility to the Rams’ defensive line and unit as whole.