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Julius Thomas – March 13, 2017 Download PDF version

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tight End Julius Thomas

(When you heard the possibility of this trade going down, what was your reaction to being reunited with Head Coach Adam Gase?) – “I was just really excited. Gase is a guy that I trust. He’s a guy that I’ve had a relationship with for a long time in this business. I really believe in his philosophy for offense and his approach to coaching, so it was definitely exciting, definitely something that I’m really looking forward to – having the opportunity to play with him again.”

(You mentioned Head Coach Adam Gase’s philosophy of offense. What is that?) – “I think if I had to describe his way about attacking defenses (it) is No. 1: Be creative. There are a lot of different things that the defense is doing – different things that are each individual offense’s strengths – and then going out there and trying to exploit that. It’s not going to be something that’s stubborn. It’s going to be something that you go with, what you worked on that day or if his number is hot, or (if) he’ll have a good matchup. Most importantly, I would say the detail and the precision that he demands offensively, and (it is) something that I’ve seen it work. I know what he can get that offense capable of doing, so I’ve always been a believer.”

(What are your thoughts about working with QB Ryan Tannehill?) – “I’m excited. I think that as quarterbacks continue to get older, they continue to get so much better. They have so much more calm and poise in that pocket. They’ve seen it over and over again. It’s an exciting point in his career, coming off of a good season last year, getting better and getting another year at it in the offense for him, which I know is going to be really big. That continuity and understanding the way to go about it in that second year really helps you settle in, as well as just where he’s at in his career, his potential, the things he’s done; so I’m excited to get going with him and helping him out the best I can.”

(A lot of weapons on the offense. What have you been told and what do you envision in terms of how you can complement the receivers – Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills) – “The production that those guys had last year and have had in their careers speaks for itself. I’m excited to be able to be out there and get going with those guys. I think what I’ll bring to the offense is a little experience in what (Head Coach Adam) Gase likes to do. I’m definitely a guy that I think is going to help other guys. When you’re playing receiver and you’ve got those safeties flying around and trying to make plays, if you have a tight end that is able to stretch the field and keep those guys occupied a little bit, it creates some bigger windows; but most of all, I’m just looking to be an explosive offense. It’s going to be something that we expect to do is go out there and score points, to do the right thing and make sure that throughout the drives, we’re all where we’re supposed to be (and) everybody is kind of in concert. That’s a little bit of what this offense is about is understanding the whole scheme – and what everybody has to do – and then going out there and trying to get it done all together. To be like an orchestra, everybody has their role and what they need to do at different points. I’m really looking forward to it.”

(The production that you had in Denver, is that what the Dolphins fans should expect? Is that what you are expecting from yourself here?) – “I definitely have high expectations for myself. As far as numbers, that fluctuates and I don’t really know how that’s going to go; but I definitely expect to go out there and help make big plays for this offense. Whatever aspect that I have to do – whether that’s picking up an extra block in the run game, pull someone on the back side, coming out of a speed route or making sure that I’m there open in the middle of the field for Ryan (Tannehill) – I really take pride in what I do and going out there and playing football and helping my team win. That’s probably the biggest thing that I expect to do is to just be an asset to the offense and do what I can to make this an explosive unit.”

(You mentioned the offense being like an orchestra. Which instrument are you?) – “I definitely understand the importance of the tight end in this offense from playing in it in Denver and the different things that (Head Coach Adam Gase) expected me to know and be able to execute. I’d say the tight end is a little bit like the bass drum – getting the ball and making a 5-yard catch on third down, needing to be called into protection based on maybe an exotic blitz you have coming up, being on a one-on-one outside, crossing the field. There are going to be so many different things that are going to be expected of me, and I just need to be consistent.”

(How would you describe the way injuries have impacted your career?) – “I think injuries have definitely been something that I’ve had to battle through. Sometimes they’ve come at the most unfortunate times. It hasn’t always been as peachy as I want it to be, but I take everything for what it is. I can’t go back and change anything. I can’t affect it so I try not to pay too much attention to it. My job as an athlete is to come out and show up in the best condition that I can, do everything I can to stay healthy and having that commitment pretty much 24/7 of doing all we can to stay healthy. The rest is in God’s hands.”

(The obvious follow up is what can you tell us is the most up-to-date injury information relative to your back, ankle and finger?) – “I can tell you that, fortunately for me, I don’t have any lingering deficiencies from injuries. At different times, you can have some injuries in your life that really affect you and make it hard. But for me, my ankle was able to heal up really well, especially from my ankle surgery back in 2012, I think. It’s relatively … I had very few ankle injuries after that, especially for that side. It’s encouraging that it was a great surgery, and I feel good about it. My back is fine. If you’re playing football and you don’t have something up with your hand at age 29, I think you’re pretty rare. I don’t really have any handicaps or anything holding me back with injuries I’ve had in the past. They’ve all been able to heal up. I guess the fortunate part is it’s always something new and not something chronic, so I feel really good. I know that I’ll be able to play at the highest level I’ve been able to play at in my career, and I still feel confident that I can do that. I’m very much looking forward to getting back out there and running around with the guys.”

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