Buccaneers CB Sean Murphy-Bunting Fires Shots at Saints WR Michael Thomas After ‘Mean-Mugging’

by Charles Craighill

In last night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded zero catches on four targets. One of those four targets resulted in a Drew Brees interception that set up the Bucs’ first score. Buccaneers’ cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting covered Thomas for most of the night and came up with that interception.

Buccaneers Sean Murphy-Bunting on Michael Thomas

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback, Sean Murphy-Bunting, got the better of Michael Thomas last night. He shut him down on all four of his targets, picking one of them off to set up a Buccaneers score. While Murphy-Bunting claims to be a fairly even-keeled player, he admitted that Michael Thomas’ actions pregame gave him a good bit of motivation to perform.

“We just played ball,” Murphy-Bunting said. “We just played ball, man. I’m not the type to be doing the back-and-forth, he said, she said thing. But I took it to heart when I’m in pregame and I’m sitting on the bench and he’s walking down the sideline mean-mugging me three or four times. I don’t say much, but when you do something like that it’s like you’re trying me as a man.”

“Now with all that taunting stuff that he does,” Murphy-Bunting continued. “All that muscles up, and all that, he didn’t do it one time this game. I’m not going to sit here and trash talk anybody because he’s a really, really good receiver. [He has] a really good catch radius, he’s very talented. But at the end of the day, you’re not going to try me as a man. You’re not going to try any of my guys as a man. We’re going to battle and that’s it.”

More on Michael Thomas

Despite his no-show in the divisional round loss to the Buccaneers, Michael Thomas has been one of the Saint’s best receivers in his career. Last season, Thomas set the NFL record for most catches in a single season with 149. He also recorded 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns. This is seventh all-time for receiving yards in a season, just 239 yards short of Calvin Johnson’s record.

However, before this season Michael Thomas felt confident he could break his own record. “It’s just kind of like what I do,” Thomas said. “At my position, I set really high goals and try to accomplish them along with winning football games, and helping out the people around me.”

That ended up not being the case for Michael Thomas this year. Last night’s loss to the Buccaneers was just the icing on the cake to an overall disappointing season. Thomas ended up missing 9 games due to injury and a team-issued suspension. At the end of the season, he totaled only 40 receptions for 438 yards and zero touchdowns on seven games, a career-low all around.