Peyton Manning yells at Julius Thomas for running wrong route (Video)

Peyton Manning doesn’t get mad too often, but he was livid at Julius Thomas at the end of the third quarter on Sunday.

Manning ripped Thomas a new one for running the wrong route on a third down play. The Broncos had a 3rd and 5 at the Kansas City 45 and lined both Thomas and Demaryius Thomas on the left. Demaryius was in the slot while Julius was split out wide to the left by the sideline. The Chiefs had three defenders in a triangle position (one corner on each player and a safety further back and playing in between).

[Also see: Watch Peyton Manning get a penalty for taunting]

Julius was supposed to break to the outside and up the sideline in order to attract two defenders and clear the area for Demaryius, who would have had a one-on-one situation. Instead, Julius went inside for a rub route, leaving the area crowded for Demaryius, who caught a pass underneath but only managed one yard.

The Broncos ended up punting, and the Chiefs scored on the ensuing drive to make it a one-possession game. And that’s why Peyton was so upset.

[Also see: Fan's hilarious custom Peyton Manning jersey]

Peyton Manning Julius Thomas

Video via Pro FootPaul Zone

Julius Thomas on contract talks: I want to be in Denver long term

Julius ThomasJulius Thomas had a breakout season for the Denver Broncos last year and is entering the final year of his deal with the team. There has been a lot of talk about his contract status, and matters were not helped when team executive John Elway said last week that he does not consider Thomas to be in the same class as Jimmy Graham, who signed a 4-year, $40 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Thomas only has played 23 career games, while Graham has scored 36 touchdowns over the past three seasons, so Elway’s remarks were understandable.

LBS caught up with Thomas at a pre-ESPYs red carpet event at the Montrian Hotel in West Hollywood last week and asked about his contract talks with the team. When asked if he wanted to stay in Denver longterm, Thomas said yes.

“Absolutely. I love Denver. It’s a great city. I really love that franchise, fan base, I would look forward to being there for a long time,” Thomas told Larry Brown Sports. “But it’s business. We’ll see what happens.”

Thomas also said he has been working hard all offseason on improving what he felt were weaker parts of his game.

“I’ve had a lot of fun trying to improve my run blocking and pass blocking,” Thomas said. “Also just certain parts of my routes. I was able to do some good things in the passing game (last year), but it wasn’t always easy to execute some routes. So I’m just trying to be a little bit more cleaner and overall do more to help my team.”

Though the Broncos were the highest-scoring team in NFL history and broke all sorts of records, Thomas told LBS he believes the team can do even better this season.

“We think we can,” Thomas said when asked about the offense this year. “We’re working towards that. That’s our goal.

“We went back and looked a lot of film from last year and saw all the different areas that we missed on. We have a perfectionist leading us and he’s definitely going to push us to be that much better this year.”

Julius Thomas fumble call was the wrong one (GIF)

Julius Thomas catchThe referees made a bad call by determining Julius Thomas fumbled in the second quarter of the San Diego Chargers-Denver Broncos playoff game on Sunday, but luckily the call didn’t hurt the Broncos on the scoreboard.

Denver had a 3rd-and-2 at midfield and Peyton Manning threw to Thomas. Thomas seemed to be bobbling the ball and never really had control, but the calling on the field was reception and fumble because he was stripped. After reviewing the play, the referees said the ruling on the field would stand.

Play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz laid out the three options for the call: incompletion, catch and down by contact, or reception and fumble. Very few people thought that they would call it a fumble, because it either looked like an incompletion or that Thomas was down before being stripped. But in what seemed to be a “ball don’t lie” type of twist, Chargers kicker Nick Novak slipped and missed on his 53-yard field goal attempt.

GIF via GIFD Sports

Julius Thomas nearly lost Peyton Manning’s record-breaking touchdown ball

Peyton-Manning-Julius-ThomasPeyton Manning set an NFL record for touchdown passes in a single season on Sunday with a beautiful 25-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas, who deserves credit for making a nice over-the-shoulder grab. However, Thomas almost blew one of his most important assignments after scoring.

[WATCH: Peyton Manning breaks Tom Brady's TD pass record]

When Thomas got back to his feet after securing the touchdown, he dropped the ball on the ground and went to celebrate. Fortunately for the third-year player out of Portland State, teammate Eric Decker was quick to scoop it up. Decker stuffed the ball under his jersey and headed toward the sideline to give it to Manning.

“I dropped the ball so fast to do my usual thing and Deck picked the ball up so fast,” Thomas said, via Anwar S. Richardson of Yahoo! Sports. “I was like, ‘Why did Deck picked the ball up so fast?’ I’m not paying any attention and I came back to the sidelines and I’m sitting down on the bench and somebody said, ‘That was the one!’ Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped it so carelessly, I should’ve kept it.”

Crisis averted. Manning, who said he didn’t see Decker scoop the ball up and hide it under his jersey, joked that he was glad Thomas was unaware of the situation.

“Julius, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had handed it to some babe up in the stands and tried to get her phone number in exchange for the ball,” Manning said. “That’d be right up Julius’ alley. That’s pretty in line with his thinking often times. Great catch, great route by him and, like I said, Decker’s catch was awesome, that’s probably one of the best ones of the year in my opinion.”

The fact that he used the word “babe” is so Peyton Manning it hurts. Kudos to Decker for paying attention. Thomas almost learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

Photo via @cjzero

Week 2 fantasy pickups include Julius Thomas, Julian Edelman, Terrelle Pryor

Julius ThomasWith the fantasy season having officially kicked off, we here at LBS are going to try to give you some advice throughout the season to help you win your leagues. Starting last Thursday and continuing into the weekend, a ton of fresh faces and even some older faces emerged as must-have fantasy pickups for Week 2. Those are the players we’ll be highlighting in this week’s column.

Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos: Many of you may have found yourselves checking your stat sheets and saying, “Wait, I thought DeMaryius Thomas was No. 88″ during Denver’s win over the Ravens last Thursday. The No. 80 you saw running all over the field untouched was Julius Thomas, a third-year tight end who — like Jimmy Graham — played basketball in college. Thomas caught two touchdown passes of more than 20 yards each in the second quarter before most of us could even figure out who he was. We now know that he’s a player who plays a very thin fantasy position and clearly has developed chemistry with Peyton Manning during training camp. He should be the No. 1 add heading into Week 2.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots: Edelman has been a player Tom Brady trusts for several seasons now, but he could be more valuable than ever this year. Danny Amendola was clearly Brady’s favorite target in New England’s Week 1 win over the Bills, but he is already dealing with a groin issue that is expected to keep him out against the Jets. Rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins hauled in only four of his 14 targets against Buffalo and Rob Gronkowski is not expected back just yet. Shane Vereen, who is probably a better pass-catcher than runner, is also out for several weeks with a broken wrist. Someone has to catch balls on Thursday and possibly going forward. Edelman is the safest bet to be that someone.

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Julius Thomas a must-pick up fantasy player

Julius ThomasJulius Thomas was one of the players fantasy owners had their eye on entering the Denver Broncos’ season-opening game against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, and he proved he is more than worth a spot on your fantasy roster.

Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s 49-27 whooping over the Ravens. Thomas showed what he could do in the second quarter when he was targeted on consecutive plays. First, Peyton Manning hit him for a 44-yard completion. On the next play, the two connected for a 23-yard touchdown over the middle.

Thomas had four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns by halftime, which is probably when several owners looked to pick him up in fantasy. If he’s still available in your league, grab him.

Thomas was a fourth-round pick of the Broncos out of Portland State in 2011. He was buried on the team’s depth chart and missed most of last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He entered Thursday with one career catch, but he should post solid numbers this season.

Denver has plenty of receivers competing for catchers in the offense. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker will all see plenty of passes. But Manning will still throw to Julius plenty, especially when the tight end has single coverage because the other threats are receiving more attention.