Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas is confident he’ll make a bunch of big plays in Adam Gase’s offense.
Thomas, perhaps most importantly, proclaimed on Monday that his back, ankle and finger injuries have healed and that his health should not be an issue.
“I can tell you that it’s fortunate for me that I don’t have any lingering deficiencies from the injuries,” Thomas said. “At different times you’ll have injuries that really affect you and make it hard. But my ankle has healed up really well. Especially from the 2012 ankle surgery, to have relatively few ankle injuries after that.
“My back is fine. And if you’re playing football and you don’t have something up with your hand at age 29, I think that you’re pretty rare. So I don’t have any handicap injuries that will hold me back. They’ve all been able to heal up. The fortunate part is it’s always something new. It’s not chronic.”
Thomas’ response to a question about injuries was lengthy, in part, because he’s had so many injuries in his career. After signing a lucrative free-agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thomas played only 21 games in two seasons.
“I feel really good,” Thomas said. “I know I will be able to play at the highest level I’ve ever played of my career. I still feel confident I can do that.”
Thomas had the best years of his career in Denver, when now Dolphins coach Adam Gase was an assistant. Thomas agreed to a restructured contract with Miami, in large part due to his familiarity and comfort with Gase.
“I really believe in his philosophy for offense and approach to coaching,” Thomas said. “He is creative. He finds different things the defense is doing. Each individual offense’s strength. Trying to exploit that. Go with what’s working that day. Or who’s number is hot. Who has the good matchup. There is a precision that he demands. I’ve seen it work. I believe in it.”
Thomas said Gase’s offense works like an orchestra. And when asked what instrument that would make him, he said “bass drum.”
“What I want to bring is experience in what Gase likes to do,” Thomas said. “I think I can help other guys, when you’re playing receiver and you have those safeties flying around you can keep those guys occupied a little bit. I’m looking to be in an exciting offense. To go out and score points. To go out and do the right things and have everyone in concert. Having an understanding of the whole scheme. Everybody has their role in what they need to do at different points.”
Thomas had 24 touchdown catches in two seasons with Gase in Denver. If he can stay healthy, the Dolphins believe they have a valuable, explosive weapon, acquired for only a late-round draft choice.
“Injuries are something I have had to battle through,” Thomas said. “Sometimes at the most unfortunate times. It hasn’t always been as peachy as I want it to be. I take everything for what it is. I can’t go back and change anything. I can’t affect it. So I try not to pay too much attention to it. My job is to come out and show up in the best condition I can. And do everything I can to stay healthy. Just having that commitment almost 24/7 doing everything I can to stay healthy.”
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