ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Apparently, even a thank you banner draped from the outside of the stadium and pregame scoreboard tribute was not enough to ease some of the resentment Demaryius Thomas feels towards Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, head coach Vance Joseph and the team's coaching staff.
"It just hurts me, man, I'm emotional," Thomas said during an explosive, if rambling radio interview Monday on 760 AM in Denver. "I’m empty still."
Thomas – who was traded last week from Denver, where he spent the first eight-plus years of his career, to the Houston Texans – spoke glowingly of his relationships with the Broncos’ support staff, specifically the public relations, operational and equipment departments, kitchen staff, mailroom clerks and groundskeepers.
It’s clear he does not feel the same way, however, about the team’s football leadership.
"It was so tough," Thomas said of the split from the only NFL team he had known. "Even leading up to the Kansas City game (October 28) it was tough, because that one day, I didn't say anything to anybody. I walk into the job and Vance Joseph walks up to me and says, 'Don't listen to the trade talks, it's not true.'
"Before the season started, the trade talk was still going, and nobody said anything to me. Why come to me Monday when it's the same talk? When he said that to me, I said, 'How is it not true? My agent (Todd France) called me today and said Elway wanted a fifth-round pick for me.'
"So, we're telling stories to each other now? I thought we were going to be men about this."
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Thomas also told the radio hosts – Marc Stout and former Broncos players Ray Crockett and Rod Smith – that he had heard from others that Elway and Joseph were critical of his role within the Bronco’s offense.
"You know what bothers me – I don't want to stir any pot – but it bothers me … I had people from Denver saying like, 'They really said they got rid of you because you were the problem on offense and they said they wanted to better the offense,'" Thomas said. "I'm like, 'Really, bro?' People just kept stirring it on.
"I heard they were saying that Vance was saying something, and Elway was saying something. I did so much for this organization and never had nothing bad to say about anybody – none of the players I played with. I just did my job and kept it as professional as I could. For you all to say that I was one of the reasons that the offense wasn't going, and say this and that, man, that hurt."
Joseph was asked Monday about comments Thomas made that were less than flattering about the Broncos after Denver lost to his new team, the Texans, 19-17 on Sunday.
"I think it's just a player who won a game, who was excited to win the game," Joseph said. "That's not my focus or concern right now, as far as who's saying what, and the high school conversations of after-the-game facts. We can't be concerned about that. "
In Thomas’ day-after radio interview, it was clear he was also bothered he was not voted a team captain this year for the first time in several seasons.
"It did affect me a lot, because before we even chose captains, I went upstairs, and I had a conversation with Mr. Elway," Thomas said. "(Former head coach and current personnel consultant Gary) Kubiak reached out to me one day and Elway was just telling me how he wanted me to be a leader in another way, because usually I'm on guys because I know guys are better than what they are and what they put on film.
"When I had the meeting, I was like, 'OK, I'm going to be a captain again.' I go to the meeting room and it's like every player came to me and was like, 'How are you not a captain? We picked you.' … To not be a captain, it was just heartbreaking."
KUSA is a TEGNA station.
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