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How Demaryius Thomas beat the odds

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  • How Demaryius Thomas beat the odds

    I still can’t believe what we all witnessed Sunday afternoon in Denver. I still cannot believe that Tebow played his best game as a pro quarterback and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Think about it. The morning started with Jay Glazer reporting Brady Quinn could play in the game if Tebow struggled. Broncos coach John Fox didn’t exactly deny the report when he talked to John Lynch on the NFL on FOX pregame show. The day ended with Tebow doing a victory lap around the stadium. Considering how polarizing a figure Tebow is, ranging from his ability to complete the forward pass to his beliefs, and considering how awful Tebow looked the past three weeks, this is a story of overachievement for the ages.

    What really made it extra special was the fact Tebow’s fellow 2010 first-round draft pick Demaryius Thomas was on the receiving end of the 80-yard, heart-stopping, catch-and-run touchdown on the first play of overtime.

    The Thomas story is a remarkable tearjerker. When he was 10, both his mother and grandmother were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for selling drugs. Thomas bounced from house to house growing up, and, he told us, he didn’t really start focusing on football until late in high school. He was talented enough to go to Georgia Tech and skilled enough to instantly be compared to fellow Yellow Jackets receiver Calvin Johnson. Thomas truly has Johnson’s ability, incredible hands, height and speed. If only he could stay on the field.

    Part of Thomas’ sad story has been his inability to stay healthy in his first two years in the NFL and maximize his talent. Thomas has suffered a variety of injuries, including a torn Achilles, a broken foot, a banged-up ankle and a fractured finger. The Achilles injury was projected to be severe enough that Thomas could have missed the 2011 season.

    Thomas had a range of emotions when we talked Monday morning on the SiriusXM Blitz, jubilant having scored the game-winner, reflective on the journey. He had a feeling the Broncos were going to score a touchdown on the first play. He told us: “Tim called the play, and I knew. They were in cover 2, and the safety came down. I thought if I could just get around the corner I could take it. And I did after a stiff-arm right in his chest.”

    Thomas thought the Steelers simply didn’t respect the Broncos' passing attack, and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy brilliantly took advantage.

    Tebow and Thomas were part of the same 2010 Josh McDaniels draft class. Thomas said he instantly clicked with Tebow and loved his attitude. Thomas was at a loss for words, just like the rest of us, when we asked him to describe what makes Tebow so great in crunch time.

    “I don’t know how to answer the question. I don’t know," Thomas said after a pause. "I do know he inspires all of us.”

    Thomas said Tebow took John Elway’s message of “pulling the trigger” to heart by “not running as much as he did and giving us time to get open. Tim doesn’t want to make mistakes. He pulled the trigger and believed in the receivers.”

    TEBOW 3:16
    Thou shalt not doubt his arm nor his humility — the gospel according to Mark Kriegel.

    Thomas said he told his mom that he was going to go “pro in something” and do something special. He vowed to work harder than anyone else, something that stayed with him when he was injured this offseason. Thomas vowed to leave his troubled childhood in the past. He said as he scampered into the end zone, he thought, “This is for my mother and grandmother.” Thomas got really emotional when he looked down and saw their names on his wrist.

    I had chills when he was done describing the moment and Thomas said, "I'm just a small-town kid."

    The perseverance for the “small-town kid” put him in position to etch his forever moment in the NFL. And if he can stay healthy and Tebow can become a legit quarterback, Thomas has star potential in the NFL.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/D...Giants--011012
    :thumb:

    Quite the story.

  • #2
    Say what you want about McDaniels, but his 2010 draft could end up being the backbone of our offense for the next decade.

    Really like DT. He's a great kid and has a ton of potential. Just gotta iron out those drops.

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    • #3
      Good read :thumb:

      I've noticed a lot of opposing teams' fans saying that he doesn't sound like the brightest person etc. during interviews. Not a lot of people would be with his upbringing, I'm just glad he's out on the field and making plays at 100%. The sky is the limit.

      Sod Dez Bryant.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bottom line is a team of above-average talent players, who are humble, hard working, and willing to do whatever it takes as a collective, will, most of the time, beat a team of exceptionally talented players that only think individually and aren't willing to work hard.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BroncoDonko View Post
          Say what you want about McDaniels, but his 2010 draft could end up being the backbone of our offense for the next decade.

          Really like DT. He's a great kid and has a ton of potential. Just gotta iron out those drops.
          sad but true about jmd

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hesky View Post
            Good read :thumb:

            I've noticed a lot of opposing teams' fans saying that he doesn't sound like the brightest person etc. during interviews. Not a lot of people would be with his upbringing, I'm just glad he's out on the field and making plays at 100%. The sky is the limit.

            Sod Dez Bryant.
            Scored a 34 on Wonderlic and attended Georgia Tech. Very intelligent

            Public Speaking ≠ Intelligence level

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by COBronc78 View Post
              Scored a 34 on Wonderlic and attended Georgia Tech. Very intelligent

              Public Speaking ≠ Intelligence level
              I've said the same thing in the past:thumb:

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a few months ago.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hesky View Post
                  Good read :thumb:

                  I've noticed a lot of opposing teams' fans saying that he doesn't sound like the brightest person etc. during interviews. Not a lot of people would be with his upbringing, I'm just glad he's out on the field and making plays at 100%. The sky is the limit.

                  Sod Dez Bryant.
                  Well upbringing doesn't have anything to do with being bright, which is genetic.

                  He's smart enough to catch that ball, and that's all anyone should be concerned with. These guys aren't splitting that atom, they're using their bodies for public entertainment.

                  I agree those criticisms of DT are completely pointless. In a way it's a credit to Thomas, if he had off the field issues or problems with his talent they'd take swipes at that first. The fact that they have to resort to him sounding dumb in interviews is pretty much LOL.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Salty View Post
                    Just a few months ago.


                    That makes my foot hurt
                    sigpic Thanks Tebow for everything that you did on your short time being a Bronco. I will always be a fan of yours no matter where you are at.

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                    • #11
                      DT is A nice young player im glad to have him
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        DT is soft spoken and has a LOT of Southern drawl. Like ex-Pres. Jimmy Carter if you remember him. I can't remember if he graduated but Ga. Tech one of the harder schools to get into, even for a star football player. His backstory is quite amazing. TNT should be even more awesome after an offseason of practice.

                        Here's an interview where (imo) he's less nervous. (found by someone else for another thread)
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No3hbunprTM

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          DT seems very down to earth and easy to root for. I also got to meet him at one of the team's appearance events, he confirmed my impression of him. I wish him well and hope he goes on to have a great, long career with the Broncos.
                          My 53-million project

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hope Tebow to Thomas is something we hear for a long time!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              NFL.com News: Thomas overcame rocky upbringing to become Broncos hero



                              DENVER -- With a black sharpie in his right hand, Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas turned over his left arm before Sunday's game against the Steelers and began writing the names of two women.

                              He started on the backside of his wrist, working toward the inside of his elbow, one name inked next to the other: Katina and Minnie. For the next five hours, Thomas looked down at that arm often, a vivid reminder of relentless love and loyalty.

                              "It made me remember who I was doing this for," Thomas said Wednesday during a private interview in a back hallway at the Broncos' training facility.

                              It was the most important day of Thomas' young career, and he went on to score on an 80-yard, game-winning overtime touchdown that shocked the sports world. But his mother and grandmother weren't able to experience the moment from inside Mile High Stadium.

                              That's because Katina and Minnie Thomas instead watched from the same place they've spent each day since Thomas began playing football in the 10th grade: in prison.

                              *****

                              Tied at 23, the Broncos broke the huddle for the first play of overtime. Thomas looked down at the names on his arm one last time before arranging his body on the 18-yard line, two yards behind the line of scrimmage. Tim Tebow took the shotgun snap, and Thomas darted forward.

                              *****

                              Thomas still doesn't know exactly what the room looks like where Katina (his mother) and Minnie (grandmother) spend their days watching him play. Based on the stories they tell him, nearly 30 or 40 women sit around a television, all wearing handcrafted T-shirts with his jersey number, 88, written on the front.

                              "I talk to my mom on the phone every morning of every game," Thomas said. "But it's still strange to me: I've got fans in prison because of my mom and my granny."


                              Denver's Demaryius Thomas slayed the Steelers with this touchdown. (Greg Trott/Associated Press)
                              He tries to picture the scene, but he's only been able to visit six times since they were incarcerated in 1997. Thomas' most vivid memories of the two women are instead relegated to other visuals, like the times when he'd see his grandmother cooking crack cocaine in their kitchen.

                              "They would try to keep me from seeing all of it, but I did," Thomas said. "I saw everything."

                              Then, one day while Thomas was in the sixth grade, police raided his home to arrest his grandmother and mother on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. His grandmother faced 40 years to life. His mother faced 20 years. To this day, both remain locked up in a low-security prison in Tallahassee, Fla.

                              "We didn't talk that much after she went to jail," Thomas said of his mother. "The only time I'd talk to them was when my step daddy would take me to go see them. Once I got to college, we talked about all of the things that happened.

                              "She apologized for all of it, explained everything, and we moved forward."

                              *****

                              After darting eight yards -- once he reached the 26-yard line -- Thomas started to slant toward the center of the field. Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor was in tight man-to-man coverage. Safety Ryan Mundy also tried to drop back to help, but he was already too late.

                              *****

                              When Broncos general manager Brian Zanders arrived in Atlanta a few weeks before the 2010 NFL Draft, he discovered a mentally tough player with the physical assets that would cause Denver to draft him with the first of two first-round picks. The team spent the second selection on Tebow.

                              "Demaryius was excellent on the interview," Zanders said. "He overcame a lot of adversity in his life. And that's a testament to his character -- to overcome all of those odds and get on the right path."

                              But it wasn't just what Thomas saw before the arrests that would mold him into the person he became. It was what he endure afterward. From the sixth to 10th grade, he'd bounce between four houses, still surrounded by a life of drugs.

                              By the time he landed with his father's oldest sister and her husband -- James and Shirley Brown -- Thomas had somehow managed to avoid the life he came from. He still had never touched drugs; still never committed a single crime. The discipline of his new guardians, for his final three years of high school, would pay off huge.

                              "I used to get up every Saturday at 6 a.m. to pick peas and pull corn with my aunt and uncle," Thomas recalls. "We'd go from 6 to 11. Then, I'd have to cut grass and rake the lawn. I had no choice. I was an usher in the church, went to bible study every Wednesday."

                              *****

                              In perfect stride, Thomas caught a perfectly thrown pass from Tebow at the 38-yard line. Then, as Taylor closed in on him to make a tackle at the 45, Thomas delivered a vicious stiff arm. He sprung free and began his sprint toward the sideline.

                              *****

                              Even after he broke away from a childhood of adversity, Thomas still faced a long road to Sunday's success. He has suffered five injuries in two years, one after another, testing his will to the point that he considered quitting football altogether.

                              "I thought about quitting football after I had those injuries," Thomas said. "But I told [my mother and grandmother] I wouldn't quit something I started. That's part of the reason I wrote their names on my arm. I wanted to remember to never quit."

                              Thomas can't quit now. Not before he has a chance to play in front of his mother in person. That's their goal -- to make that happen. He also wants to be able to provide for everyone in his family. For his two sisters who were ripped out of his life after the arrest. For his guardians, Shirley and James. For his mother and his grandmother.

                              "I haven't done much for my mom and my granny yet," he said. "I got my grandmother a lawyer. I pay for her lawyer. Hopefully, we can get her time cut shorter. I was going to do something for my mother, but she told me to wait."

                              She told him to wait -- because they're all hoping she could soon get her freedom. Although her sentence is scheduled to end in 2017 (Thomas would be 29), there stands a chance it could come sooner.

                              Whenever it happens, sooner or later, Thomas looks forward to a day when his mother can watch him play in person for the first time of her life. If he keeps up his current pace, that won't' be a problem at all.

                              Since Dec. 1, Thomas is averaging 22.5 yards per catch. His 108.7 yards per game are second in the NFL behind only Lions star Calvin Johnson. Thomas' teammates say they couldn't be happier for him after all he has endured.

                              And neither could his family.

                              "I'm sure they were all going crazy in prison after that play," Thomas said. "I'm sure it was very emotional with everybody cheering on their feet."

                              With his path now free from obstacles, Thomas' career seems headed in a great direction. He is happy. Content. Reflective. Understanding. And while it might be difficult to know where it will head from here, the Broncos wide receiver is simply thrilled to be sprinting toward his goals after a life of struggles.

                              *****

                              As Thomas approached the Steelers' 40-yard line, he kicked into full stride, beginning to outdistance himself from the two defenders in tow. After 30 more yards, he straightened his body directly toward the goal line. Then, with another smaller stiff-arm, he shed his final defender to finish this improbable 80-yard play.

                              Thomas reached the end zone. Touchdown, Broncos.
                              http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...e-broncos-hero

                              Gotta love the guy. Hope we just scratched the surface of his potential
                              Last edited by COBronc78; 01-12-2012, 11:23 AM.

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