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Julius Thomas: 'Can’t get down' when people criticize; 'We believe in each other'

Editor's note: Catch The Julius Thomas Show Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in The Locker Room with Nate Kreckman throughout the football season. Tune in on 102.3 and 105.5 ESPN or listen online at ESPNDenver.com.
 
By Johnny Hart
ESPNDenver.com
 
The word of the week in Denver, at least regarding the Broncos, has been “panic.”
 
Certainly, the club has reiterated this week that there is no sense of “panic” within the walls at Dove Valley, rather a sense of urgency to improve after Sunday’s shellacking at the hands of the St. Louis Rams.
 
On the outside, however, there have certainly been harsh criticisms of the Broncos offensive output of late –– specifically focused on the offensive line.
 
 
Ealier this week, our ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth used the phrases “… fire them all and start over,” “… I just want to throw up,” and “… They can’t block their way out of a wet paper sack” in reference to the big men of the Denver offense.
 
But Thursday, tight end Julius Thomas, in The Locker Room with Nate Kreckman for his weekly radio show, said the players “believe in each other,” and that they couldn’t afford to allow outside criticism to determine how they play.
 
 
“I think as any athlete, any member of a team, you’ve got to understand that there’s always going to be noise on the outside. There’s always going to be opinions, feelings, or whatever someone wants to express about how you do your job,” Thomas said.
 
“But we like to talk about what’s important to us. You can get over excited about people patting us on the back, and you also can’t get down on yourself when people have criticisms of you.”
 
Thomas said it’s imperative for he and his teammates to focus on doing his job, and that the key in the blocking game is to remain consistent.
 
“We’ve had great blocking games this year. So we just have to be consistent. And a lot of it comes down to so many little things,” Thomas said. “I mean, everybody looks and says, ‘Oh. Panic.’ But when you watch film, and you know it, and you’re sitting in those meetings, you see it’s just the little things and we’re close.
 
“We all got to do a better job to protect Peyton (Manning), get the run game going. And that’s something that we’re focused on and we’re dedicated to do it.”

Knighton: Most dominant defensive performance thus far against Oakland

Editor's note: Catch Monday Night Madness with Terrance Knighton at 5:30 p.m. in The Locker Room with Nate Kreckman live from Dave & Busters throughout the football season. Tune in on 1023 and 1055 ESPN or listen online at ESPNDenver.com.
 
By Johnny Hart
ESPNDenver.com
 
At quick glance, it may appear as if ithe Denver Broncos offense, not its defense, did most of the dominating during Sunday’s 41-17 blowout win against the Oakland Raiders.
 
Running back C.J. Anderson rushed for 90 yards and received for another 73 yards and one touchdown.
 
Peyton Manning tossed five touchdown scores, hitting up both Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders twice.
 
But after digesting the film Monday, Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said it was the most dominant defensive performance he’s been a part of as a pro.
 
“As far as yardage, I think so. And as far as how the team felt,” he said this week on Monday Night Madness when The Locker Room’s with Nate Kreckman asked if it was the most dominating performance he’s taken part in.
 
Despite not sacking Derek Carr, the Denver defense pressured the Raiders rookie quarterback all day, allowing just five third down conversions on 18 attempts –– including 10 three-and-outs.
 
However, late into the second quarter Oakland led Denver 10-6, which the Raiders lone touchdown score coming on a short field following a Manning interception.
 
“You know, we were put in a bad situation earlier in the game when their defense created a turnover,” Knighton said. “I think we just stuck together as a team, and that’s something (general manager John) Elway talked about and (head coach John Fox) Foxy talked about.
 
“Just staying together and not dividing when things aren’t going the right way and taking things on head first as a team.”
 
The Broncos held Oakland to just 222 total yards, of which just 30 came in the Raiders rushing attack.
 
According to Knighton, stuffing the run has been a season-long emphasis for the Denver defensive line.
 
“That’s one thing we strive for on the D-line, making sure guys can’t run the ball on us because everybody wants to get sacks. And in order for you to get sacks, you’ve got to stop the run and force them to pass,” Knighton said.
 
“Right now we’re greedy, and we still feel like 30 yards was too much.”
 
Denver ranks atop the NFL in terms of rush defense, allowing just 67 yards per game.
 
The club heads into St. Louis this weekend to take on the Rams, who rank among the bottom third in the league in rushing offense at just 97.4 yards per game.

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