The Jacksonville Jaguars landed free agent tight end Julius Thomas as their splash player in free agency, who instantly upgrades the tight end position, at least from a pass catching stand point. Thomas has had more touchdown receptions in the past two seasons than all Jaguars tight ends have had combined in seemingly forever.
One of the biggest criticisms launched at the Jaguars signing Thomas was the fact that many felt that his production was largely due to the fact he was playing with Peyton Manning, rather than his own ability. Thomas admits Manning helped his career, but he disagrees that he was reliant on it.
"I think that certain things are out of your control. I’m not going to say that Peyton hasn’t been a huge influence on my career and I appreciate his influence, but Peyton started somewhere first, too," Thomas said on Wednesday at a press conference.
Many would think that Thomas would have a chip on his shoulder because of the perception that he's a product of Manning, but Thomas says he doesn't really think about that all that much.
"No, that’s something that’s on the outside. If you ask me or Peyton, we’re not going to say that the reason I was able to accomplish what I did was all because of Peyton," Thomas said. "I’m sure he doesn’t feel that way and I don’t feel that way. That wasn’t a thought that crossed my mind."
Thomas may not catch 24 touchdowns over the next two seasons with the Jaguars, but he does add an element to the passing game the team hasn't had in years. He's a big target who with good hands who is a mismatch in coverage, which is exactly what the Jaguars have needed that the position.