For being one of the best middle linebackers in the past 15 years, Zach Thomas gets surprisingly little national media recognition. (Not that he finds anything wrong with that, I'm sure.)
That's why it's nice to see Thomas getting well-deserved praise from a coaches survey conducted by ESPN.
The survey asked every head coach in the NFL to name the league's smartest defensive player. Anonymity was provided to the coaches, and they were encouraged not to choose one of their own players. 30 coaches responded to the survey.
What should be unsurprising to any serious football follower is that Zach received the most votes in his favor (6).
It's Thomas' incredible mental acuity for the game of football that has, in part, helped him rack up an average of 7 tackles for loss a year (not to mention all of his other fantastic stats).
So even though it took a coaches survey to do it, at least the national media got this one right. Congrats, Zach.