On a team loaded with more weapons than a United States Army base, Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has established himself as the most potent. During the 2013 regular season, he was targeted 143 times by quarterback Peyton Manning, and he caught 92 balls. Both stats led the Broncos. He tallied 14 touchdowns, more than Eric Decker (12), Wes Welker (10) and tight end Julius Thomas (12). The durable Demaryius Thomas hasn't missed a game in two years, and he's obviously a key contributor to an offense that scored 606 points this season, an NFL record.
So how did Demaryius Thomas establish himself? For starters, his nutritional habits allowed him to build rapport with Manning. Loading up on carbohydrates like bread or spaghetti with meat sauce before games, and consuming plenty of fluids during them, helped keep him off the injury list.
Concerning the results of his approach to nutrition, Thomas said, "After a game, I used to always feel heavy and still sore. But now my legs feel lighter, and I'm not as sore after a game."
Thomas' dedication to becoming faster also played a huge role in his success. This season alone, he had catches of 78, 77, 70 and 63 yards, some of which came on short routes that Thomas turned into big gains with his speed. Exercises like the Single Leg Squat to Knee Drive and Weighted Sled Drives paid big dividends in improving his explosiveness.
Look for Thomas to put the Broncos on his back one last time this season during the biggest game of the year.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock