2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos' Demaryius Thomas excels at screen passes

    2013-11-14 02:33

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By ARNIE STAPLETON
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

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

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