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Julius Thomas looking to fill Joel Dreessen's leadership role with Broncos

Julius Thomas had some very kind words to say about his former teammate.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One thing Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway always looks for in a player is their leadership abilities. That is one of the reasons why Elway signed tight end Joel Dreessen to a Free Agent in 2012. Joel's leadership and veteran presence was felt around locker room during his tenure with the Broncos, and is still present even today despite the Broncos parting ways with Dreessen because of health issues.

After the Broncos practice as Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Current Broncos starting tight end spoke about how Dreessen taught him and other how to be a professional football player, and how it made him into the player and man he is today.

"Always showing us and demanding our position group to perform a high level, pay attention to details and those are stuff I will never forget throughout the rest of my career. I know that this may be it for you but I will take everything that you taught and that you stressed with me to teach the tight ends behind me as well. So I really appreciate it and miss you."

This was John Elway's plan from the beginning. Bring in veterans who are also professionals to teach the young guys how to also become a professional and do the right things on and off the field. Dreessen clearly means a lot to Thomas, and I like hearing that he's stepping up as a leader and teaching the men behind him how to become a professional football player.

Here's what Thomas had to say when he was asked what he would miss most from Joel Dreessen.

"Everything has to be detailed and if anything is missing, [Dreessen] is going to point it out. It is funny because he will look down at a diagram and he will be like, ‘Well, you guys drew this up wrong and I need it fixed in my book because when the game comes, I am going to get it right and if it is wrong in the book I don’t want to hear it.’ He demanded everybody from the coaching staff to the players to be on top of everything. If somebody would miss a detail, Dreessen would be the one to remind you.  That is how he made sure we were always doing everything at a high level and playing hard. He always stressed effort and precision and those are two things that I feel can be great to add to my game."

I believe many(myself included) overlook the effect certain players have in the locker room. It's clear that Joel was important to many in the Broncos locker room, and he will be missed going forward. Lets hope that Thomas is true to his words and uses everything Dreessen taught him and continue to improve as a player.

Thomas had a up and down beginning to his career, but after a breakout 2013 season he is looking forward to an even better 2014 season which of course ends with a Super Bowl victory.

"Life is crazy. I have had my ups and downs before and I am just appreciative to be back out here, working. It is great to be back here at the stadium and just thinking about what we left on the table last year. Using everything as motivation so we can achieve our ultimate goal and that is to win the Super Bowl."

Lets hope they can achieve that ultimate goal in 2014.

Go Broncos!!