Broncos TE Julius Thomas isn't acting like a man who's arrived, though, but like one who knows he's still a work in progress and has to fine-tune his game.
"I'm spending a lot of time going back and looking at last year's tape these last couple weeks and just seeing so many areas that I can improve in," Thomas said. "By no standards was I my best in any aspect of the game and that's what's really exciting about these offseason OTAs for me is I really get a chance to work on things and improve."
Thomas doesn't look at the film to relish his big moments but to find the flaws.
"To look back and see all the things that I didn't do so great and know how comfortable I am going into this season and how much I've learned, I'm just excited to go out there and show everyone — and show myself — how hard I've worked this offseason and (show) more of what I can do," he said.
Thomas played football as a freshman in high school but when his back started to hurt during a growth spurt, his mother told him he could play basketball but not football. He blossomed into a power forward who would lead Portland State to two NCAA tournament berths, one whose teammates always thought he was joking when he'd talk about playing football when his basketball eligibility expired.
Thomas is a favorite target in the league’s most productive passing attack, and with Eric Decker no longer with the team, the fourth-year tight end could see an increase in targets as well. He scored 12 TDs in 14 games, but wasn’t simply a redzone threat — he also averaged 4.6 receptions per game, which was 6th among tight ends.