Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas was a surprise breakout player last season from the very beginning of the season, as he hauled in five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s Week 1 demolition of the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. “Orange Julius” caught just one pass in eight career appearances prior to the 2013 season, but he finished the year with 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns as one of the league’s premier pass-catching tight ends and red zone threats.
Thomas is an athletic specimen and mis-match maker like most top-notch receiving TEs, and he told FOX Sports’s Ross Jones that the Broncos plan on being even more creative with their usage of the 26-year-old Portland State product, “What I think people will see different in me (this year) is that they will use me a lot more creatively. I think there are a lot of things that our offense wanted to do with me, but you can only learn so much in one year. No matter how much time you have at practice, it never seems to be enough when you’re learning and trying to come into your own.”
Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase is one of the best in the business, and he’s well-known for his creativity so this is a long time coming. It will be interesting to see what exactly “more creatively” means, but it definitely sounds exciting. The Broncos effectively replaced Eric Decker with Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer at WR this offseason, though all three of those players are different. It’s abundantly clear that Thomas will have an even bigger role in the offense next year, because he’s still only getting better after just one full season of significant play.