ENGLEWOOD • On his way to a better situation, Demaryius Thomas left behind the same objective he carried through eight-plus seasons with the Broncos: trying to make them better.
Is it too much to ask Vance Joseph and the Broncos to listen up this time?
“I wasn’t taking shots at nobody,” Thomas said during a fiery interview on Denver’s Orange & Blue 760 AM Monday.
“If you want to be better, you’ve got to listen to your players. They’ve been playing this game for a long time. And when you don’t change stuff up on the field...”
Thomas finished the thought by indirectly pointing at the Broncos’ 3-6 record.
“When you don’t want to listen to players, that’s what’s going to happen. It’s the truth though,” he told the radio station. “And it’s a great organization. On a sheet of paper they’ve got a special squad. Ain’t no way they should be losing that many games.”
No arguments here.
The Broncos have lost six of seven going into their bye week.
General manager John Elway said on the same radio station Monday the team plans to “stay the course” with Joseph, a sign they won’t change coaches before the end of a second-straight season that’s gone in the tank.
“That’s not my concern right now, my future,” Joseph said during a news conference Monday.
Give the Broncos this much: they never lack for drama. When the wins run out, the best performance art on the Front Range finds plenty of juicy content to fill the gaps. Who said a 3-6 team with a less-than-1-percent chance of making the playoffs is a boring one?
Now that he’s no longer obligated to toe the company line on what’s going wrong with the Broncos, Thomas let ‘er rip. And while DT is the most reserved wideout who’s ever caught a touchdown pass and handed the ball to the ref, when he speaks he speaks from the heart.
Monday, on the airwaves with Broncos great and close friend Rod Smith, Thomas doubted whether Joseph held a legitimate vote among players to select the team’s captains.
Case Keenum and Matt Paradis were announced as the offensive captains back in September. Thomas, the longest-tenured Bronco before his trade last Tuesday, said he told Joseph he desired to be a captain. Didn’t happen.
“I go to the meeting room and every player is like, ‘How (are) you not a captain? We picked you,’” Thomas said on 760 AM.
The captain issue clearly burned at Thomas.
“I’m the only player getting booed and I’ve been here the longest,” he said. “And then the other side of it is I’ve been here nine years and I can’t even be a captain.”
Joseph’s baffling arrogance has been a point of contention in this space almost since he was hired. But you’d think an 8-17 record as coach would bring some humility to the table. Guess not, according to Thomas.
“If you’re going to be successful, you got to listen because we’re counterparts,” Thomas said. “We’re supposed to jell together and make one whole. We’re supposed to do this together. I’m the talent. You watch the film and tell me what to do, but when I see something when you’re not on the field with me, let’s just try to do something different. And I guarantee you it will be better for the squad.”