Good morning, Broncos Country.
Believe it or not, Denver Broncos star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is the longest-tenured member of the franchise. Let’s call him the Elder Statesman — the franchise’s most underrated high-profile player who has seen it all. From the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, Thomas has had a roller coaster ride of a career. But entering his ninth season, Thomas feels the best he ever has since entering the league both physically and mentally — and is motivated to help the team secure another Lombardi Trophy.
“Physically, I can say I’ve felt my best since I’ve been in the league. I have been dealing with hip problems my whole career. Now it really doesn’t bother me anymore,” stated Thomas. “So physically I feel the best, mentally as well. I’m all love and ready to keep moving. Ready to get in the playoffs and things, and get back to a championship.”
A healthy and motivated Thomas will only be beneficial for the Broncos as they embark on their 2018 campaign and a shot at a fourth world championship. Inconsistency at the quarterback position has undoubtedly hurt his production over the past two seasons — and for the majority of his career, the Broncos haven’t set him up with a reliable signal caller outside of the short, but sweet Peyton Manning era. However, he doesn’t have to worry about that this coming season. With veteran Case Keenum set to lead the team on the gridiron, Thomas is excited about the future and the relationship he and Keenum will develop as time goes on.
“I’ve worked with about eight quarterbacks since I’ve been here,” remarked Thomas as he laughed reflecting on the past. “But like I was saying, it’s always good to have that one guy. We’ll be able to work with each other. After OTAs are over with, I’m going to go to Houston and we’re going to work together. So that’s big for us.”
What would also be big for the Broncos is if rookie wide receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton can come in right away and make an impact for the team. Most certainly, that would open up things for Thomas and fellow veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders — who haven’t had the benefit of getting many one-on-one opportunities the past few years because the team has lacked production from the players behind them on the depth chart. Based on his first impressions of the two highly-touted rookies, Thomas is incredibly impressed and believes they are both further along in development compared to where he was at when he entered the league out of Georgia Tech all those years ago.
“I feel like you can throw Courtland in right now, throw Hamilton in, throw a couple more guys in right now and make plays for us. Me coming in as a rookie, I was injured a little, it was hard learning the playbook and it was difficult because I had go up against Champ every day,” Thomas remarked.
#ICYMI: @DemaryiusT joined @SteveAtwater27 @MaseDenver & @redwardsradio at the @uchealth Training Center on 1st & 10 @ 10 for #BroncosOTAs #BroncosCountry#Listen on @iHeartRadio https://t.co/k7TcBmR102— Orange & Blue 760 (@OrangeBlue760) May 29, 2018
“They have to go up against Chris and the rest of the guys. From what I have seen so far, they listen and learn what the coaches say—what me and Emmanuel are telling them. And they’re picking it up quick. It will only get better and better from there,” he added.
In his eight seasons with the team, Thomas has earned five trips to the Pro-Bowl and has received All-Pro accolades twice. He ranks only behind Rod Smith in the franchise’s career receiving record books and has a great shot at overtaking the top spot if he finishes out his career strong. But it isn’t personal goals and glory that motivate him — all that matters is what he can do to help the team win their fourth world championship.
“Win another championship. That’s it. I feel like I’m a team player. I don’t always talk about myself and my goals, but I always want to be the best at what I do.”
And if Thomas can get back to being the best player he can be, that will go a long way in helping the Broncos get back to their Super Bowl winning ways — which would be a most welcomed sight after two years of struggles and failing to reach the playoffs.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
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