Peyton Manning Was a Key to Selling the Dolphins on Making a Deal for TE Julius Thomas

When the Dolphins were considering acquiring tight end Julius Thomas, offensive coordinator Clyde Christiansen reached out to a former pupil, retired quarterback Peyton Manning, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post reports.

Christensen was Manning’s offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and 2010. And Thomas caught 24 touchdowns from Manning when they played together for the Denver Broncos in 2013 and 2014.

So Christensen trusts Manning’s evaluation, and it was overwhelmingly positive.

“That (Thomas) figured it out,” Christensen explained of Manning’s report. “(Thomas’) figure-it-out factor was high. That’s what you look for. There’s a guy who came in and probably didn’t know a whole bunch about football, or played very little. His experience was very minimal, and then (he) came in and figured it out and then worked. (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 (Head) Coach (Adam) 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.”

Manning helped Thomas reach unforeseen heights after the tight end was a fourth-round draft choice out of Portland State.

After signing a big contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, Thomas had only nine touchdowns in two injury-marred seasons.

Christensen believes Miami is more likely to see the Broncos version of Thomas in 2017.

“There’s no guarantee on any of them,” Christensen said. “It’s on film. I’ve seen it. Hearing Peyton (Manning) talk about him and what he meant to the offense. (Head Coach Adam) 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.”

“He knows the system,” Christensen said. “He came up through the ranks. He has a great story. You guys will hear it when you talk to him, but (he is) a guy that hadn’t played a ton of football and (was) learning how to be a pro, learning how to practice, learning how detailed this thing is and figuring it out. So, his story and what he’ll bring to that locker room I think is really good. He’s a pleasant guy. He’s a pro. He asks the right questions. He stays with it until he knows the answer. He’s going to come in, in the evening if he has questions. He’s going to do whatever it takes to find a way to play good football. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we need throughout the thing – a detailed, professional guy.”


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