ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – Seven days into training camp, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is gradually working his way back into the fold.
"I feel good to be back out there and to be able to run more than two or three routes at a time," Thomas said. "I feel good. I look forward to getting in better shape and being able to go longer."
After missing offseason training activities and minicamp due to contract negotiations, Thomas is playing catch-up with the Broncos' playbook. With the addition of new Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, the scheme has changed and now presents challenges for Thomas.
The Denver Broncos returned to the field at UCHealth Training Center after having a day off.
"[There are] a couple things we had in last year's offense—[it is] the same word and we still have it in this offense, but it's a different route," Thomas said. "That's the most difficult thing right now."
But now a week into camp, Thomas is getting caught up. Kubiak and his staff planned from the start of camp to limit Thomas the first few weeks. He's been involved in individual drills and walk-throughs from the beginning but Thursday was Thomas' first day of team repetitions.
"It's way better than it was Tuesday," said Thomas of his progression. "Actually, I was home [Wednesday]. I was looking over some stuff. [When] I came out today, I wasn't going up to the line thinking, 'Oh, what do I got here?' I kind of knew at the time. That's the most important thing since I could just start and go fast instead of thinking the whole time."
One thing that hasn't changed is his connection with quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning has been instrumental in Thomas' introduction to Kubiak and Dennison's offense.
"It's my fourth year with him. I don't think we can lose it that quick," said Thomas of his and Manning's timing. "When they're doing special teams, me and Peyton don't do special teams. We do our one-on-one thing. That kind of helps. The timing, it's good. It's just different routes. You have to of course run the reps and get that timing down because there's a lot of different throws than last year."
Take a look through Demaryius Thomas' career as a Denver Bronco, including his milestones.
While Thomas is still learning the playbook, that doesn't mean he isn't thinking about goals for the team. His approach to achieving those goals are just like his approach to camp: a day a time, a game at a time.
"Basically, as any team, you want to win the Super Bowl," Thomas said. "I think our main thing is taking it a game at a time and making sure we handle the team that we have on our first game—Seattle—take care of them when we go down the road. Of course, we want to put ourselves in a great position to be able to make it to the playoffs and try to get home field advantage so we won't have to travel much to try to get back to the Super Bowl."