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Demaryius Thomas says this is the best he’s felt in his entire career

After battling through injuries all of last year, Denver’s star wideout is looking forward to starting the year fully healthy.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Demaryius Thomas met the press this afternoon and dropped some interesting nuggets about his health.

It’s no secret that the offense under-performed last season, and as a result Demaryius had what one would consider a down year for him; even though he still had 90 catches, 1,000+ yards and 5 TDs.

When asked how he felt coming into this year though he said:

This is the best I’ve felt my entire career. That kind of helps as well. If you go out without pain, you can run routs on this side or that side. It’s basically getting equal now. There’s more joy. I’m having a lot more fun. I’m not worried about guys covering me on one side or the other. I’m enjoying it.

At first I wasn’t [in pain], but after the first game against the Carolina Panthers, that’s when I started feeling all of the pain. It came back after one hit, the first play of the game. And that’s when I felt my hip again. It just lingered.

So apparently Demaryius had been battling an injury all year, which would explain why at times he seemed like his dominant self, and then other times he would disappear for long stretches.

This year, Coach Joseph has challenged Demaryius to be that dominant force on the field every down, and Thomas is excited to meet that challenge.

I’m excited about it for him to say that I need to be the guy that he’ll come to for one-on-one coverage.

Thomas further explained what being more dominant means to him.

Taking advantage of one-on-one coverages. Make sure every completion is 100 percent. When the quarterback gives you a chance, you get open and you make the play.

The expectations have always been high for Demaryius, but it seems like these last two years he has tapered off from the blistering pace at which he started his career. Even though the offense as a whole likely shoulder some of that blame, Thomas hasn’t looked like the same guy who was making catches like this one every week.

Now with the fact that he was battling injuries all of last year, it makes a little more sense. Between his contract situation/holdout, his family events, and his health, there has always been something keeping him from being his “old self”.

The Afternoon Drive guys, Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro discussed this on their show today and Eric thinks that DT deserves a little bit of slack for the last two years, but acknowledges that he likely will not get it (as evidenced by the #tradeDT movement).

Additionally, he makes a good point that the scrutiny intensified the minute DT signed his big contract. Whenever you’re paid at the very top of your position group in the NFL, the fans (and coaches) expect you to perform at the top of your position group.

Hopefully DT can get back to doing that this year.

Take a listen below to Eric and Les’ thoughts on the topic starting at about the 5:55 mark and sound off with your thoughts in the comments.