Before the Dolphins acquired Julius Thomas, they checked his references. And one of those references, Peyton Manning, told them just what they wanted to hear.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen has coached Manning and wanted a quarterback’s perspective on how Thomas is as a teammate. Christensen told the Palm Beach Post that they loved what Manning told them about Thomas always wanting to put in extra work to get better.
“[Manning] talked a lot about [Thomas asking], ‘Would you stay out and help me with this? Take me through this. Would you watch a little tape with me? Would you explain what you want on this?’ And he still does the same thing. I’ll see him in Coach Gase’s office and his questions are right. His questions and his process are right, which as a coach, [is what] you’re looking for,” Christensen told the Palm Beach Post.
Christensen emerged from his conversation with Manning convinced that Thomas can play in Miami the way he did in Denver, where he was a Pro Bowler in both of his seasons as a starter, and not the way he did in Jacksonville, where he was a disappointment as a free agent signing.
“Hearing Peyton talk about him and what he meant to the offense, Gase knows him inside out. Gase knows exactly what he’s getting and knows how to use him. [Gase] used him extremely well out there in Denver. I have great confidence that we will get that. It’s not a speculation. There’s some – as you like to say – empirical data. There’s data we can see, see him do it [and] see the things we need him to do. That always is encouraging,” Christensen said.
We’ll see this season whether Ryan Tannehill comes to like Thomas as much as Manning does.