ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - In football, preparation is everything. Having a great week in practice doesn't guarantee a productive game on Sunday, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Demaryius Thomas catches passes from a huge advocate of thorough preparation: Peyton Manning.
Thomas had an excellent week of practice leading up to Sunday's game against the Cardinals and performed well enough on game day to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career.
"My confidence has never failed," Thomas said after Sunday's game. "I know I am able to go out and make big plays and able to have great games. It was just getting back and concentrating and not letting one play bother me."
After a big week, the wide receivers' focus is sharp as ever. Check out the action at Thursday's practice.
During the matchup, he racked up the most receiving yards in a single game in Broncos history with 226 and had touchdown catches of 31 and 86 yards. The latter was the fourth longest reception in Broncos history.
During Thomas' first three games of the season, he had 13 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown, which was not the type of production he was accustomed to. Head Coach John Fox said Thomas "worked his rear off" in the week leading up to the Arizona game and noted that he came to practice early one day to catch 250 balls.
"I thought he had a better week of practice last week," Manning said on Wednesday. "Just kind of going back to there are really no secrets. He practiced better, he was on top of his assignments and he caught the ball better. That's what you want to do every single week and that's what he expects to do every single week and we're looking for that consistency in everybody on our offense."
Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase complimented Thomas' growth since his rookie year in 2010, when he had 22 receptions for 283 yards and two touchdowns. He said his route running has taken significant steps forward.
"He was a great go-route runner and basically could take a step off the line and that was about it but he's come a long ways," Gase said. "It's fun to watch now because he can do the whole tree and just the way he's developed mentally has probably been the most impressive thing because they didn't really do a whole bunch in college and now you can see he takes our playbook, he knows it inside and out and it's very rare for him to make a mistake."
The two-time Pro Bowler laughed as he defended himself against Gase's comments but did admit that he was "rusty" when he first arrived in Denver.
Despite having a record-breaking day in Week 5, Thomas said Week 6 won't be any easier. But, he acknowledged that it will be a different feeling going into this game than his previous four.
"It's a little different to finally go out and make plays and to do what I think I can do, go out and make plays for my team, big plays," Thomas said. "Like I said, first three weeks I wasn't doing that so it was in the back of my mind and I was still beating myself up and now after the bye week [I] just go out and play and forget whatever happened that play and don't worry about it."