Julius Thomas now feeling comfortable with football


Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas made the Pro Bowl and became an integral part of a record-breaking offense while learning on the job last season.

Asked by NFL Media's Judy Battista when he finally started feeling comfortable with football, the former college hoopster responded, "Would it be fair for me to say, 'Maybe a couple of weeks ago?'"

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"In one game, the defense did something," Thomas continued, "and Peyton was like, 'Julius, did you see that?' And I said, 'Peyton, they got me; I had no clue what they were doing.' There are still situations I haven't been in before, and I'm still learning what to do."

Admittedly getting by purely on "self-confidence and athleticism," Thomas still forced defensive coordinators to game-plan a way to handle him.

That's the difference between Thomas and Eric Decker. While Decker is a premier second fiddle at wide receiver, he wasn't the focus of opposing defenses -- Julius and Demaryius Thomas were.

It's no coincidence that the Broncos have jump-started negotiations with Thomas and Thomas after refusing to reward Decker with a second contract.

With increased strength, a better understanding of the offense and Decker out of the picture, Julius Thomas' role is expected to expand this season. Don't be surprised if he flirts with 1,000 yards in his second season as a starter.

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