Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Dec 2012

Influenced by Excellence: Demaryius Thomas

It has come as no surprise that the offense under Manning has developed in record time. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has demonstrated noted improvement. The third-year Bronco told the media during the off season that he needed to learn the rest of the route tree. With Manning at the helm, this was not a goal as much as it was a demand. Thomas has responded as such and his improvement has been tremendous. He is easily having the best year of his young career.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 06 Dec 2012

10 comments, Last at 09 Dec 2012, 4:13pm by Karl Cuba


by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 12/06/2012 - 11:41pm

I'm pleasantly surprised with his development. Right after the Manning signing, he had some quotes that came off a little badly. The implication was that he was unhappy about or maybe kind of intimidated by how much work he was going to have to put in to keep out of Manning's doghouse.
It has since come out that he was completely in awe of Manning. To the point where Manning had to order Thomas to stop calling him "sir."

by Bobman :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 2:11pm

THAT is funny and the "sirs" should only continue from the whole team because of it. Particularly funny for Stokely, or an old potential HOFer like Champ Bailey.

by Rich A (not verified) :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 2:11am

An excellent article, thanks for the find and post

by ammek :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 5:30am

Really good analysis. I've noticed similar with Eric Decker, too. The coaching staff needs a mention, but I'm sure you're right, a lot of the improvement comes from Manning.

by evenchunkiermonkey :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 6:58am

I would guess Manning is as demanding as any of the coaches. "God Damn it, Donald" is all that really needs to be said. Certainly the coaching staff preaches crisp routes and clean releases, but having a future HOFer teammate demanding excellence and accountability is IMO the true motivator.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 12:17pm

Great Piece. Really enjoyed it.

by DEW (not verified) :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 3:33pm

That was a really nice piece. Thomas has consistently surprised me this season by elevating his game beyond his physical talents alone; he's on the verge of becoming a genuine star receiver.

(Now if only they could do something about Matt Willis...)

by MZ3692 :: Fri, 12/07/2012 - 4:17pm

Excellent article, Thomas is finally reaching his potential

by greybeard :: Sat, 12/08/2012 - 7:30pm

All of his improvements are attributed to Manning in this article but there is no proof offered . Why is this not about the coaches after a lockout year with enough repetition teaching him to be better and the player responding to it?

I cannot think any player more overrated than Peyton Manning (Beckham comes second). He is a great QB, maybe the best of all times but that is not enough: he teaches WRs how to play, he teaches the OC X and Os. I bet a few years after he retires we will find out that he is 20 feet tall 1000 lb of all muscle and runs 40 yards in .2 secs.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 12/09/2012 - 4:13pm

I normally like Waldo's stuff but I don't like this article, it begins with a premise that Manning is responsible for all the change and then offers no evidence to support it. Yes he has improved but is it because of Manning or the effects of the first full offseason without a lockout on a player who was raw coming out of college?

In addition last year was really tough on the young Broncos receivers, Tebow was awful at getting the ball out on time. I can remember one play where Thomas was running an intermediate curl but as he broke his route and started to move back for the ball Tebow was just staring down another receiver and patting the ball, eventually Thomas had to head back upfield, pumping his arms to get the corner to buy into the idea that his route was called as a double move before cutting back on his curl route again, at which point Tebow saw him and threw the ball short of his feet. Great commitment to keep working from Thomas that was totally wasted by a quarterback who was well out of his depth.