Demaryius Thomas was a one-of-a-kind talent on the football field, but his greatest impact may have been his work in the Denver community. Many of Thomas' friends and teammates are carrying on his legacy of helping children, and ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg talked to former Bronco Emmanuel Sanders about how he is honoring Thomas' community work.
Sanders, who played with Thomas for more than four seasons on the Broncos, returned to Denver in May to visit the Denver Boys & Girls Club — an organization that Thomas constantly supported throughout, and even after, his career with the Broncos. Getzenberg noted that Sanders made a donation in his friend's honor, which covered new jerseys with No. 88 patches for the club's football team.
"[Thomas] was probably the most active in terms of Boys & Girls Club, showing up for the kids always," Sanders told Getzenberg. "The kids knew his truck when it pulled up, they'd run out there, because he was there all the time."
A few days after Thomas' passing in December, two Bills fans created a donation drive to the Emmanuel Sanders Foundation to support Sanders, who played in Buffalo at the time. Getzenberg noted that the $10.88 increments — a nod to Sanders' and Thomas' jersey numbers — raised about $6,000, and Sanders used it to fund a new game room for the Boys & Girls Club in Buffalo.
Per Getzenberg, Sanders was greatly influenced by Thomas' generous spirit and positive energy. By carrying on his mission of giving back to the community, Sanders is honoring his friend and keeping his impact going.
"You go and find me a picture of [Thomas] when he's not smiling and you send it to me," Sanders told Getzenberg. "[It would] probably [be from] the fourth quarter of the game, but a majority of the time he's smiling, he's laughing. He had the biggest smile. If you don't know much about him, Google a picture of him and watch him when he smiles and that'll tell you about the person that he was."
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Linebacker Baron Browning could be a pass-rushing force for the Broncos after moving to the outside, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold wrote.
Legwold noted that Browning looked strong at the outside linebacker position in the joint practice with the Cowboys and the first preseason game, and has promise to become an impactful depth option behind Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb.
"There is plenty of NFL road left to travel this season, but what the Broncos have seen so far is that Browning can take what he's learned in the meeting room, from his more experienced teammates, from his coaches and apply it on the field," Legwold wrote. "What the Broncos have seen is reason for optimism."