Rational, sane humans have the right to change their mind and their opinion on any topic or area of discourse. Opinions can be swayed, and a stance can switch.
This is normal behavior, but the problem with Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is that he doesn’t quite understand that NFL players aren’t normal humans. Sure, they are in the sense that they breathe the same air we breathe. But they’re also part of a privileged few who play football for a living, and do it well. Therefore, they have microphones and cameras shoved in their face regularly, and when you contradict yourself while speaking publicly, it’s weird, confusing, and it damages the credibility of any word you ever say.
Previously, Thomas has been quite blunt when asked for his opinion of the now dead Tim Tebow era in Denver. Referring to his game-winning reception that knocked the Steelers from the playoffs, shortly after the trade he said that his on-field productivity with Tebow will unfortunately be distorted by that one spectacular catch.
It’s a business decision. I ain’t going to say I was sad because the only thing they remember is that pass. You gotta go back and look at the rest of the games. I wasn’t getting no balls and you had to make some of these plays where some players were open and he is not making the throws, but I don’t want to talk bad about Tim, but hey I am happy we got Peyton.
So in summary, Thomas knew the reality of the Tebow situation and why he had to be traded (the “business decision”), but since his job is to catch footballs, he wasn’t exactly crushed after the move since, you know, Tebow can’t throw a football, and that seems to be a basic requirement for a sound quarterback/wide receiver relationship.
While those words back in April were surprisingly candid, they weren’t damning. Thomas was simply telling the truth, and the truth is that being a wide receiver in a Tim Tebow offense must have been a horrific experience akin to driving the wrong way on a highway.
But Tuesday night during an interview on NFL Network’s Total Access, Thomas reversed course.
“Me and Tim, if you look at our stats, we had a great year together. And I wish he would have stayed around so maybe he could have learned some things from Peyton. But it’s over with now, and we’ve got Peyton on our side, so I’m just looking forward to the season.”
The focus during discussion of this quote has mostly been on the bit about Thomas wishing Tebow was still around in Denver. While that’s juicy and the kind of fodder that draws eyes to computer screens in July, it’s difficult to believe that Thomas actually cares that deeply about Tebow’s future development. Look, we’re sure he’s a nice guy, but he must realize that having both Manning and Tebow in Denver would have been a media nightmare similar to and maybe even worse than the one plaguing Mark Sanchez right now in New York.
The Broncos needed to move on and truly start the Manning era, and the only way to do that is without Tebow. Management knew that, Tebow knew that, and surely Thomas knows that.
I’m more interested in the first part of Thomas’ quote, because while he had moments of success with Tebow, he seems to have an inflated sense of his Tebow connection. Thomas only played in nine regular-season games last year, and if we take away the outlier games in weeks 13 and 15 when he had 260 of his 551 regular-season receiving yards, he averaged just 41.6 yards in the other seven games.
The connection improved during the playoffs, but Thomas’ numbers were still inflated by two catches, one of which was highly improbable and made possible by Ike Taylor’s inability to tackle. As a result, 121 of Thomas’ 297 receiving yards (40.7 percent) in the post-season came on two receptions.
For Thomas, the valleys were much more common than the random, spiking peaks with Tebow. He’s much better off with that Peyton guy.