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Demaryius Thomas accepting challenge to step up this season

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After a five-year low in receptions and TDs last season, the Broncos’ wide receiver is ready to be consistently dominant - as requested.

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s “a different vibe” with new head coach Vance Joseph governing the locker room, but it’s one Demaryius Thomas is liking – possibly because the new coach is looking for him to do more this season.

“It means a lot,” Thomas said of Joseph’s recent comments that the No. 1 wide receiver needs to be more consistently dominant. “Definitely, the first thing I thought was more opportunities and chances to get the ball more, but also be that guy to get the offense sparking. … I just have to step up to the plate.”

With a familiar face in Mike McCoy calling plays again, DT thinks he and the offense can answer the challenge.

“The sky is the limit,” Thomas says of having McCoy back at coordinator. “We have playmakers, and we’ve got good coaches to call the plays.”

Under McCoy’s previous stint with the Broncos, Thomas enjoyed a breakout season with 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011-12 plus served as a key recipient for Peyton Manning in the offense’s record-breaking season in 2012-13.

“The years we played together with Mike were some of my best years,” DT acknowledged. “I look forward to it this year as well.”

He’ll be doing so without much clarity on the starting quarterback yet, but as a veteran now, No. 88 doesn’t see much point in worrying about that.

“At this point it doesn’t really even matter. We know both of them can play. We’ve caught balls from both of them. It’s about who is going to do best for the team,” Thomas said of the declared “quarterback competition” in training camp. “It isn’t going to be easy because both of those guys have got game. Whatever it comes down to, we’re going to make it work.”

And the wide receiver knows with a new coaching staff, the roster is a contest for just about every position.

“I think it’s going to be a competition from my position to the quarterback position to the offensive line position. That will only make it better to see who is going to be out fighting with you,” Thomas said, after noting that he’s “kind of used to it now.”

As far as the quarterback competition goes, Thomas is ready for whoever earns the job.

The wide receiver believes Paxton Lynch is more prepared this season than last, having gotten to start and play a few games, while Trevor Siemian is coming in more confident as well after spending a season as the starting quarterback.

“He’s still got things to work on. I think he knows that as well,” Thomas said of Siemian, adding he’s “fine with playing with either one, whoever becomes the top guy.”

Mostly, Thomas thinks the offensive woes will be fixed by better execution all-around.

“I think the main key is starting out and eliminating turnovers and not having the three-and-outs early in the game,” Thomas said, with the “no kidding”comment-of-the-day. “Basically like you said, having a balanced offense and being able to run the ball and catch the ball. If we can do that, it will be a totally different year.”