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Thomas Ready for Final Tuneup

Posted Aug 30, 2011

Rookie tight end Julius Thomas is hoping to impress against the Cardinals Thursday and enter the regular season on a positive note.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- For NFL rookies, the preseason presents valuable game experience and the chance to learn from mistakes.

But once the Broncos’ final exhibition game comes to an end Thursday, those mistakes will be magnified through the lens of the pressure-packed regular season. 

With that in mind, rookie tight end Julius Thomas knows the time is now for he and the other rookies to refine their games, and Thursday night’s meeting with the Arizona Cardinals presents an opportunity to impress before the final score counts in the standings.

“It’s going to be a big game for me just having a few preseason games under my belt and knowing what to expect and knowing kind of how the NFL works,” Thomas said. “It’s going to be a good game to get out there and try to have as perfect of a game as possible. My goal is to go out there and grade out the best I’ve done all preseason and try to head into the regular season on a positive note.”

Thomas has been thrust right into the action during his first season, working with the first-team offense regularly in practice, and his hard work was on display Saturday against the Seahawks – catching four passes and leading the team with 70 receiving yards.

The rookie admitted his current comfort level with the offense in comparison to when he first arrived at Dove Valley has dramatically increased.

“It’s night and day from being thrown into your first camp without OTAs,” Thomas said. “Everything is brand new; you’re still trying to figure out the way the Broncos do things. Each offense is different and little intricacies, but now I’m really comfortable with the things we’re doing and the terminology. There’s always room for improvement, but I think I’m progressing at a good pace.”

With roster cuts looming, players know the importance of the final preseason game and Thomas wants to continue to prove to the coaching staff that he’s a young player that can be counted on to contribute once the Broncos kickoff the regular season.  

“I try not to worry about things that are out of my control,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to take everything one day at a time. I still have tomorrow’s practice and Thursday’s game, so I’m just going to go out there and have a good showing and play the best game I can. Everything else will take its place.”