MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Dolphins offense was an ascending unit in 2016 under the guidance of first-year head coach Adam Gase.
Tight end Julius Thomas envisions himself as the new bass drum for the Dolphins, which should sound good to Gase, because his offense could use more punch.
Thomas said Monday he’s excited to be reunited with Gase as a result of a trade last week with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Thomas knows Gase’s offense well after catching 24 touchdown passes in 2013-14 when both were with the Denver Broncos.
“I want to bring a little experience in what coach Gase wants to do,” Thomas said. “I’m a guy who helps other guys. I want to help make sure we’re all where we’re supposed to be and everybody is in concert. That’s what this offense is about, understanding the whole scheme. Everybody has to get it done all together, like an orchestra.”
And what instrument is Thomas?
“The tight end is a little bit like the bass drum,” he said with a chuckle. “You’ve got to be steady, you know? Maybe make a 5-yard catch for a first down, maybe being called into protection, maybe being one-on-one outside. There are going to be so many different things expected of me.”
Gase and the Dolphins are counting on Thomas to enliven a unit that ranked 17th in the NFL in scoring last year and 26th in passing yards. Starting tight end Dion Sims had only 26 receptions and signed with the Bears last week.
In Denver, Gase was offensive coordinator — and Peyton Manning was the quarterback — when Thomas had his two big seasons there.
“Gase is a guy I trust,” Thomas said. “I really believe in his philosophy of offense and his approach to coaching. I’m really looking forward to playing for him again.”
Ryan Tannehill is no Manning, but Thomas said he’s eager to play with the quarterback who is entering his sixth year as the starter and his second with Gase.
“Quarterbacks as they get older continue to get so much better, with more calm and poise in that pocket,” Thomas said. “Another year in the offense for him is going to be really big.”
Thomas, a six-year veteran, battled injuries with Jacksonville and missed 11 games the past two seasons. He said he’s healthy now and heads into 2017 with no lingering issues.
“I know I’ll be able to play at the highest level I’ve ever played at in my career,” he said.
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