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20 days, 20 Broncos camp questions -- 4. Will Demaryius Thomas have a bounce-back season?

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Everything is in place for that.

But first, let's note that the season from which Thomas is trying to "bounce back" is the kind of campaign that would be a dream season for the vast majority of wide receivers: 101 catches for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns.

Way back in 1961, a 100-catch season gave Lionel Taylor the single-season pro football record. In 2015, triple-digit catches were not enough to prevent chatter about whether Thomas was worth the contract that he signed that offseason.

The reception tally didn't tell the story, of course. For Thomas, the dropped passes did -- 12 over the course of the season, per the numbers compiled by


Thomas admits that his focus wasn't where it needed to be last year, with so much going on away from the field, starting with the release of his mother from prison after she had her federal-prison sentence commuted by President Obama.

"It's just keeping a clear mind and going out and working hard to get prepared for this year to have a better year than I had last year," Thomas said. "It wasn't the best of years -- and the drops were one of the biggest reasons. But it happens.

"I'll come out this year and for sure have a better year."

Improved focus will help. But there are two other keys to a better season for Thomas. The first is getting the proper timing with whoever becomes the starting quarterback; if cohesion can be achieved, Thomas can be that quarterback's best friend with his ability to make catches in traffic and turn short passes into long gains up the sideline.

The other key is health. During a break from the football camp for Denver-area children he held July 6 and 7, Thomas recited the litany of injuries through which he played last year: problems with his hip, back and neck.

"Everything's healed up," he said. "I'm feeling great. I'm excited about training camp."

Thomas is going into his seventh year. That's the sweet spot at which age hasn't caught up to you, but your experience gives you an advantage. He's in his prime, and with a new quarterback, he will be counted on more than ever.

With his focus sharpened, look for him to deliver in a big way -- no matter who delivers him the football.


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