Demaryius Thomas to Broncos: ‘If you want to be better, you got to listen to your players’

It took a trade midway through the season but Demaryius Thomas is finally playing for a winner. In a strange twist, the newest Texans receiver faced his old team, the Broncos, in his debut and finished with three catches for 61 yards as Houston held on for the 19-17 victory, thanks in part to questionable coaching decisions by Vance Joseph that cost Denver three points just before half and ultimately cost them the game when the Broncos settled for a 51-yard field goal as time expired.

After the game, Thomas talked about the way the Broncos lost the game.

“That’s what they do over there,” Thomas told’s Mike Silver. “I ain’t a part of that no more. We like to win over here.”

Several days later, Thomas sought to clarify those remarks in a radio interview with AM 760 in Denver.

“But there’s one thing I do want to clear up,” Thomas said, via The Athletic‘s Nicky Jhabvala. “Because there’s something out that’s saying — I said something but it wasn’t the way it was. It was like, ‘That’s what they do over there. They lose, and we win over here.’

“It’s not that. It’s not that I was taking shots at the players or anybody. I wasn’t taking shots at nobody. But if you want to be better, you 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 — there were games where I want to change stuff up on the field because I saw it and I knew it would help us. I used to do it with Peyton [Manning]. It helped the offense. I just try to make us better. But when you don’t want to listen to the players, that’s what’s going to happen. It’s the truth though. It’s a great organization. Man, on a sheet of paper, that team right there, they got a special squad. Ain’t no way they should be losing that many games.”

This certainly doesn’t reflect well on the current coaching staff. There was speculation down the stretch last season that Joseph might be one-and-done but after general manager John Elway “went back and forth on the decision,” as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported at the time, Joseph was retained.

Likewise, there was more speculation that Joseph might not survive after the Broncos lost to the Texans but he remains employed as the team enters its bye week.

Which brings us back to Thomas. “If you’re going to be successful, you got to listen because we’re counterparts,” he explained. “We’re supposed to gel 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.”

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