Brandon Who? Life After Marshall!

D. WebbCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010


    The evening sun begins to set in the west over Mile High. Pads smack and grown men lock in physical struggle that heralds the coming of the game we all love, FOOTBALL Broncos football. 1st down on the 25, Quarterback takes the snap and drops back and sees his 6’5 240 pound receiver break away, well muscle his way from coverage and streak to the end-zone. The pass goes up and so does the big athletic freak of a man, highpoints the ball over the defensive back that still seems a little shocked that a man that big could run that fast and leap that high, even though they had seen it countless times before. The end result is all too familiar to Broncos fans, six points. To quote Champ Bailey: “He’s BIG, and Really, Really Fast!”


     Many unfamiliar with the Broncos and some that assume they are, from media reports and headlines, would assume that this description is about Brandon Marshall, wide receiver standout and physical beast that roamed opposing defenses as they faced the 2009 Broncos offense. Well a little grade school saying should tell you what you get when you ASSUME.


      This piece of football action was a description of a play made in the most recent team scrimmage at Invesco Field last Saturday night. Crowds that used to chant “Brandon Brandon!” repeatedly recited that montra with a slight yet endemic change “Brandon WHO? Brandon WHO?”

  Demaryius Thomas, known to many as “Bey Bey” is the new Bronco wowing fans and inciting fear and dread in opposing secondaries in the AFC West.. Just when they though they had caught a break by Brandon being traded out of the division, the Broncos draft Thomas.


      Demaryius Antwon Thomas, listed at 6’3 225 on the team roster is much MUCH bigger than that. Remember the Broncos listed Brandon Marshall his whole career at 6’3, but every defense who faced him knows the truth was 6’5. Sources who have stood next to him put him at an daunting 6'5, and visual examination will tell you he’s no where near the listed 225. Such and imposing athlete would be unfair to NFL cornerbacks that average 5’11 and 185 pounds. Now add in his recorded, and shown on Youtube 4.38 40 yard time, and his second best vertical at the combine of over 40 inches and it get down right cruel.


      Thomas, a first round, 22nd overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2010 draft, what controversial to some with the Troubled Dez Bryant still available and falling fast.

  Thomas while being the superior choice raw ability-wise was downgraded because of the uncertainty of a pre combine foot injury and because he played in a triple option run based offense at Georgia Tech. Thomas did manage 46 receptions and over 1100 yards in a heavily run based offense. His 25.1 YPC placed him second in the country: incredible considering he wasn’t the offenses primary option. His measurables, impressive blocking ability and willingness to make the tough catches over the middle are tempered by critics with his perceived inability to run NFL routes. The reply is “You can teach a route tree but you can’t teach size speed and toughness” And Bey Bey has those in spades. Closer over simplified observation shows that Marshall only ran about 4 routes all year: wide receiver screen, slant, 10 yard cross, and a 15 yard come-back, and was still able to produce at a pro-bowl level.


      One could spend another 2 pages detailing the difficulties and challenges Demaryius Thomas has overcome and risen above. Things that a higher profile receiver has joked about, lies about and then denied. Thomas’ Mother and Grand mother are currently serving time in

 a Talahassee Federal Prison, for being less than good examples to Bey Bey. His father also left very early on. Despite that, he has become a man of character, ethics and moral conscience; where others with his background have not. The two tattoos on his arms read “Family” and “First” repectively, highly respectful for a man with such a dysfunctional family history. Thomas’s character, attitude and class are a welcome departure from his volatile predecessor. Out with the old and in with nthe new as much in spirit as in body.


      Finally, Brandon Marshall was without question one of the most talented players to ever play the position in Denver, But the combination of size speed, athleticism and character will sooner, rather than later; have fans and foes of the Denver Broncos saying “Brandon Who?