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Each week we’ll bring you an extra look at a player the Broncos used in a creative or interesting way during the previous game. This week, we’re getting a 2nd plate of Demaryius Thomas.
Sometimes you have to take pleasure in your own fatuity, inanity, and outright asininity, even while trying to hide it from the world with multi-syllabic adverbs. As Grandpappy used to say to me, “Son, you’re just plumb stupid, so face up to it.”
As I admitted yesterday, I was not a fan of the Broncos drafting Demaryius Thomas in the 2010 Draft. I thought the Broncos had other more pressing needs. I had been advocating that they take Mike Iupati or Maurkice Pouncey. Even as other Broncos fans began to warm up to the 6-3, 230 lb. wideout from Georgia Tech, I sat back and proclaimed that he couldn’t run routes. Even as reports out of training camp had Thomas dominating in drills, I said he was simply a big guy who could only run fast.
Color me crazy. I was way off base.
Perhaps I should have known better. After Thomas met Rod Smith and spent time with the Broncos great, Thomas said:
“He helped me out a lot, actually. Just some of the stuff that he told me he did and would help me out and I tried it today and it did help. It was basically getting off the line and getting off press and using my body and using my shoulders, something I never did before.”
Outside of Brandon Marshall, anyone that spends any significant time with Rod Smith will eventually end up two things: 1) A bad-ass wide receiver 2) A hard worker
So it shouldn’t have surprised me yesterday when the Broncos threw Thomas his first pass—a wide receiver screen—that immediately put to rest any notion that the Broncos are worse off without Brandon Marshall. In what seemed like only a few seconds, Thomas took the play 19 yards. Thomas, if you didn’t notice, is a whole lot faster than Marshall.
What was more surprising, however, was that on the very next play Thomas ran an almost-perfect comeback route for 20 yards. On the route, he sunk his shoulders smoothly, planted quickly, and got great separation from the defensive back. This is the sort of route that it took Marshall three years to run properly. Some would argue (including myself) that Marshall still runs this route poorly. Later in the game, Orton hit Thomas with a 21-yard touchdown. On the play, Thomas used his hands like an old pro. Seahawks CB Kelly Jennings fell to the ground like a rag doll. Thomas didn’t appear a rookie on Sunday.
It’s certainly early. The Broncos will be facing four good defenses in the next four weeks. However, today, with Eddie Royal on pace to best his rookie-year reception totals, Brandon Lloyd averaging over 21 yards per catch, and Jabar Gaffney just getting warmed up, adding Thomas to this mix just made the Broncos a whole lot more dangerous. That’s a 4-wide receiver set that can give any team trouble. Thomas could by year’s end be the best of the bunch. And with Knowshon Moreno likely to best his rookie totals in receiving yards, this Broncos offense is going to have a lot of weapons to choose from.
After Thomas scored his touchdown, he walked over to the stands and began slapping hands with Broncos fans, who were going crazy. I don’t know if Rod Smith taught him to do that, but it’s the kind of thing Smith would have done, and it’s the kind of thing that will endear Thomas to Broncos fans immediately.
Thomas should get used to it, though. From what we saw on Sunday, he’s going to be getting into the end zone a few more times this year.