Former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels mourns loss of Demaryius Thomas: ‘Best guy I ever coached’

Josh McDaniels hasn’t coached Demaryius Thomas for too long in his career. He only lasted 12 more games as head coach of the Broncos after Thomas was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and Thomas never played a game for the Patriots during the 2019 halftime break. with them.

Still, Thomas had a huge influence on McDaniels’ life, and that made Thomas’ death at age 33 all the more “cruel,” in the words of McDaniels.

“He’s the best guy I’ve ever coached,” McDaniels said of Thomas to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. “What an incredible human being. I am so sad for his family and everyone who knew him. Love DT.”

THAN: NFL World Reacts To Demaryius Thomas’ Death

McDaniels was part of the credence in picking Thomas over Dez Bryant, who was considered the No. 1 receiver in the 2010 NFL Draft. The move has come under scrutiny, but as Broncos reporter Mike Klis – then by the Denver Post – note, the Broncos believe they have found a player comparable to Brandon Marshall.

“In picking Thomas, not Dez Bryant, with Thursday’s 22nd pick, the Broncos believe they’ve found a better version of Marshall (former recipient Brandon). Better as in better behavior, with a bit more down field rate.

Thomas caught everyone’s attention. He scored 665 catches from 9,055 yards and 60 touchdowns with the Broncos, both second in team history. He accomplished that in just nine seasons in Denver making four Pro Bowl games and helping Peyton Manning lead Denver to a Super Bowl title in 2015.

What stood out for McDaniels, however, was not the way Thomas performed. It’s the kind of teammate – and more than that, human – for Thomas and how much he values ​​his relationship with the former Broncos coach in their little time together.

“I haven’t coached him in his entire career, but he has always kept in touch. Every time we played, he would hug me and thank me. I told him he had close the deal,” McDaniels said.

“He has a special gift for building relationships. Every text I read or see [after Thomas’ death] multi-way. I was devastated, like many people. God must have needed him. “

Thomas died at his home in Roswell, Ga. On December 9, 2021. His family reported that he may have died from a seizure. He had suffered from epilepsy for over a year before his death.

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