DENVER — Demaryius Thomas has no plans to slow down.
He knows former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson retired at 30, and he's seen other wide receivers lose a step as they reach their 30s.
Thomas is doing everything in his power to make sure that doesn't happen to him. As he approaches his 30th birthday in December, he still has plenty he hopes to accomplish.
"It's a change of my diet, the way I work out [and] take care of my body," Thomas said. "I still remember the talk I had with [former Broncos safety] Brian Dawkins, and he was telling me the things that I should do and change up, because as you know, the first two years, I was injured. [I] talked to him and [former Broncos cornerback] Champ [Bailey], and they kind of helped me out and gave me the path and I took it and ran with it. Ever since then, I haven't missed a game and don't plan on missing one."
Thomas has been the quiet iron man on the Broncos roster since the end of his 2011 season. He's started 90 straight games, even as he's battled hip pain for much of the recent past.
That pain is gone now and Thomas should have reason to again expect the stats that tend to accompany a player of his caliber.
Reunited with Offensive Mike McCoy and challenged by Head Coach Vance Joseph, a healthy Thomas should be a focal point of the Broncos offense.
In McCoy's final season with the Broncos during his first stint as offensive coordinator, Thomas earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and tallied 94 receptions, 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Those numbers have Thomas feeling hopeful a renaissance could be on the horizon.
"I got longer than 30 [years]," Thomas said. "I think I've got a couple good years [left]. Like I've been saying before, this is the best I've felt my whole career. I haven't had the problems I usually have with my hip, because that was one of the things that held me back.
"I wake up now and I don't feel it, and that's a good sign, because usually I wake up in the morning and I'm like, 'OK, my hip's tight. I've got to loosen it up to get it going.' But now it's totally different."
Even as he turns the corner into the next decade, that's a reason to expect heavy production.
Last season, Thomas spent his birthday in Kansas City on a wet night that saw the Broncos lose 33-10 as their playoff hopes slipped away.
He'll hope for a different result this year as the Broncos travel to DC for a Christmas Eve matchup with the Washington Redskins.
That penultimate game of the regular season could well decide playoff positioning — and whether Thomas gets to ring in 30 with a ring.
That's the plan, at least.
Asked how he wanted to welcome this year, Thomas didn't hesitate.
"Hopefully with a Super Bowl."
Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated Thomas turns 31 in December. He turns 30.