Broncos' Demaryius Thomas excels at screen passes

    2013-11-14 02:33

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Demaryius Thomas keeps getting showered with praise and passes.

He was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career after helping Denver beat San Diego 28-20 Sunday, when he became the first Broncos receiver in a decade with a trio of TD receptions.

Thomas received a hearty pat on the back from interim coach Jack Del Rio for his acrobatic move on his first score in which he switched the football into his left hand as his momentum carried him out of bounds and swiped it across the pylon like a checkout clerk scanning a can of soda.

''I told him, `Man, that was amazing,''' Del Rio said. ''That was really good to watch in slow-mo. What a tremendous use of body control. With his size and speed and the angle he was at, to be able to coordinate himself and stay in bounds and get that thing across the pylon was just amazing.''

Thomas admitted he's not supposed to expose the football like that, but said instincts took over ''and I just wanted to get into the end zone.''

It may have been No. 1 on Del Rio's list of the terrific touchdowns, but it wasn't even Thomas' favorite score of the day.

That came early in the third quarter when he lined up in the backfield to Peyton Manning's right, then cut in front of the quarterback as he went in motion to the left side. Gathering in the screen pass, Thomas twisted upfield and turned on the jets. He was still accelerating when he crossed the goal line 34 yards later.

''Smoke screens are my favorite thing to do,'' Thomas said. ''After that catch, I feel, is my thing.''

It's easy to see why Thomas says he's at his best with the ball in his hands - he leads NFL receivers with 377 yards after the catch.

At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Thomas is the biggest and probably strongest receiver Manning's ever played with, and he might just be the fastest, too.

All those attributes show up on the bubble screens.

''He's got great speed and he gets the ball in his hands and he's got a good feel for reading those blocks, which I think is a gift there. ... He's got a good feel for reading runs,'' Manning said.

''It probably goes back to all the runs he had to practice at Georgia Tech - they threw it like one time every three games,'' Manning added with a laugh. ''So, he probably had to learn a lot about reading blocks for the running backs. But boy, he gets it in his hands and he's got great speed and power and it's fun to watch once he gets it in his hands, I'll say that.''

Thomas said Manning's estimate isn't that far from the truth. He excelled in the Yellow Jackets' run-oriented offense by making the most of every chance he got.

He caught just 46 passes his breakout junior season, turning those catches into 1,154 yards and eight TDs.

Not much changed with Tim Tebow under center early in his Denver career, but now he hardly ever faces single coverage anymore, and working two seasons with Manning, he said, has turned him into a better, smarter receiver.

He said Manning told him he'd better figure out how to get open even if he's double-covered.

And he has.

Right before his first score Sunday, Thomas hauled in a nifty 28-yard over-the-shoulder catch with a cornerback and safety both bearing down on him.

Thomas has 55 catches for 793 yards this season and his nine TD receptions are tied with teammates Welker and Julius Thomas for tops in the AFC.

He finished with seven catches for 108 yards against the Chargers, earning him his first Player of the Week honor, which came as a surprise to Del Rio, who figured he must have had a nice collection of those by now.

''Really? It does surprise me, because he's had some monster games in the two years I've been here,'' Del Rio said. ''Happy for him because he's a heck of a football player. He's a good, good man. Doesn't say a lot, just kind of comes in and goes to work every day, usually with a smile on his face. Yeah, I'm proud of him.''

From his vantage point as defensive coordinator, Del Rio said he's seen great growth in Thomas ever since Manning's arrival in 2012.

''I've seen him put in the work,'' Del Rio said. ''And he is a horse. I mean, he's a big guy that is fast and can catch, and those guys are tough to deal with in this league and he's one of the special ones.''


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aaron DobsonNov 23 07:23p

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson (back) is officially active for the Week 11 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Marshawn LynchNov 23 07:13p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is not expected to play in the Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team is expected to find out Tuesday, Nov. [ More ]

Jamie CollinsNov 23 07:13p

The New England Patriots have declared LB Jamie Collins, WR Julian Edelman, CB Justin Coleman, WR Keshawn Martin, DL Sealver Siliga, OG Tre Jackson, DL Trey Flowers inactive for Week 11.

Anthony McCoyNov 23 05:33p

Washington Redskins TE Anthony McCoy was waived Monday, Nov. 23. Free-agent TE Je'Ron Hamm (Redskins) was re-signed to the Redskins' practice squad.

Emmanuel SandersNov 23 04:53p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) is dealing with a high-ankle sprain. Sanders hopes to play in Week 12, and added that Monday, Nov. 23, was the first day [ More ]

Marshawn LynchNov 23 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is traveling to meet with a specialist Monday, Nov. 23, after sitting out with an abdominal injury in Week [ More ]

Ryan FitzpatrickNov 23 03:53p

New York Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starter in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Brian HoyerNov 23 03:43p

Houston Texans QB Brian Hoyer (concussion) will start in Week 12 after passing his final concussion test, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.

Joseph MorganNov 23 03:13p

Baltimore Ravens WR Joe Morgan was waived Monday, Nov. 23.

Devonta FreemanNov 23 03:03p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) is off to a good start in the NFL-mandated concussion protocol, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Peyton ManningNov 23 02:33p

Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler is not Denver's permanent starting quarterback for the rest of the season, according to sources. QB Peyton Manning (foot) is expected to start again once he is healthy.

Mark SanchezNov 23 02:03p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez appears to be the leading candidate to start in the Week 12 game against the Detroit Lions Thursday, Nov. 26, according to OT Lane Johnson.

Brock OsweilerNov 23 02:03p

Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler will make another start against the New England Patriots in Week 12, according to team sources.

Jimmy ClausenNov 23 02:03p

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was released Monday, Nov. 23. The team also promoted QB David Fales from the practice squad to the active roster.

Larry DonnellNov 23 01:53p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell (neck) said he has been cleared to play and that he feels completely healthy.

Jordan ReedNov 23 01:53p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) sprained the medial collateral ligament in one of his knees in the Week 11 loss to the Carolina Panthers. However, Reed returned to the game.

Sam BradfordNov 23 01:43p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (shoulder, concussion) was back at practice Monday, Nov. 23, for the first time since he was injured in Week 10. Bradford did everything the [ More ]

Joe FlaccoNov 23 01:33p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (knee) appears to have a good chance to be ready for the start of the 2016 season, according to doctors.

Patrick PetersonNov 23 01:13p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson (ankle) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his injured ankle, but it is believed he is dealing with a low ankle sprain.

Joe FlaccoNov 23 12:13p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (knee) said he tore the anterior and medial collateral ligaments in his knee in Week 11, although he has yet to have an MRI [ More ]

Ryan MathewsNov 23 11:43a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (concussion) is in the concussion protocol and out of practice Monday, Nov. 23.

Zach ErtzNov 23 11:23a

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) is in the concussion protocol, and his status is uncertain for Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 26. He has been cleared for meetings.

Matt ForteNov 23 09:53a

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte (knee) went through an extensive pre-game workout Sunday, Nov. 22, and appears on track to play Thursday, Nov. 26.

Marshawn LynchNov 23 08:23a

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) is believed to be dealing with a sports hernia. Surgery would end his regular season with the possibility of returning in the playoffs.

Peyton ManningNov 23 02:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) is 'absolutely determined' to get himself healthy, a source with knowledge of the situation said Sunday, Nov. 22. Manning firmly believes he will [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 23 02:03a

Houston Texans QB Brian Hoyer (concussion) will remain the starting quarterback when he is healthy, head coach Bill O'Brien said Sunday, Nov. 22. Hoyer's concussion symptoms have subsided and [ More ]

Thomas RawlsNov 23 12:23a

Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls stepped in for the injured RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) in Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers, and he posted the second-best day by [ More ]

Eddie LacyNov 22 09:13p

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy had 22 carries for a season-high 100 yards and one catch for six yards in a 30-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11.

Marshawn LynchNov 22 08:13p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) will head to Philadelphia Monday, Nov. 23, to visit a specialist about his abdominal issue, head coach Pete Carroll said Sunday, Nov. 22.

Alfred BlueNov 22 08:13p

Houston Texans RB Alfred Blue had 21 carries for 58 yards and three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown in a 24-17 win over the New York Jets in Week 11.

Cecil Shorts IIINov 22 08:13p

Houston Texans WR Cecil Shorts had two catches for 51 yards, four carries for 26 yards and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass in a 24-17 over the New York Jets in Week 11.

DeAndre HopkinsNov 22 08:03p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 win over the New York Jets in Week 11.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group