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Broncos DT Knighton: Short week 'more mental,' 'about who wants it more'

 
Editor's note: Catch Monday Night Madness with Terrance Knighton at 5:30 p.m. in The Locker Room with Nate Kreckman live from Dave & Busters throughout the football season. Tune in on 1023 and 1055 ESPN or listen online at ESPNDenver.com.
 
By Johnny Hart
ESPNDenver.com
 
The Denver Broncos had but a few (regular season) blemishes in 2013 on the way to a 13-3 record and a trip to the Super Bowl.
 
Among those blemishes was a Thursday Night Football loss at the hands AFC West rivals San Diego in Week 15 –– Denver’s only home loss of the season.
 
The Chargers and Broncos again will face off this week on a short turnaround, in prime time, on Thursday Night Football.
 
In The Locker Room this week for Monday Night Madness, Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said it’s a mental challenge to have such a quick turnaround –– in Denver’s case from prime time Sunday to prime time Thursday.
 
“You know, it’s more mental. A lot of guys bodies aren’t ready by Thursday, but it’s about who wants it more,” Knighton said. “So it’s about who prepares themselves mentally and who can fight against adversity better.”
 
Knighton said preparing better for the short week is something the team took away from the loss last season to San Diego.
 
“Well I think something we learned from last year, guys are more focused on getting their bodies back. And we’re just going to let the process handle itself,” Knighton said. “Our coaches are going to take good care of us.”
 
Denver’s players had film and a short lift Monday, according to Knighton, but no interaction with coaches.
 
Tuesday, he said, would be like a regular Wednesday practice, minus the pads and more like a walkthrough.

Broncos TE Julius Thomas on record-setting pace: Taking it 'one week at a time'

 
Editor's note: Catch The Julius Thomas Show Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in The Locker Room with Nate Kreckman throughout the football season. Tune in on 1023 and 1055 ESPN or listen online at ESPNDenver.com.
 
By Johnny Hart
ESPNDenver.com
 
For those who haven’t noticed, particularly the ones currently taking residency under rocks, the Denver Broncos passing game is pretty solid.
 
Like, record-setting good.
 
And to boot, Denver’s coming off a 2013 campaign in which they, well, set records.
 
But among the Peyton Manning milestones coming up this season –– 500 career touchdowns (check), most career passing touchdowns (almost check) –– Broncos basketball-star-turned-tight-end Julius Thomas is running down his own historical mark.
 
Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, Thomas has nine touchdown grabs –– more combined scores than contemporaries Rob Gronkowski (4) and Jimmy Graham (3).
 
He said he didn’t realize he’d accomplished that feat when Nate Kreckman brought it up during the Julius Thomas Show Thursday in The Locker Room.
 
 
But his nine end zone grabs through five games puts Thomas on pace to best Randy Moss’ single-season record for touchdown receptions (23), which he set with New England in 2007.
 
The Broncos pass catcher, however, said it’s more like something tucked deep in his mind rather than something on which he’s focused.
 
“It’s probably one of those things that it’s way, way back in the back of your head. I personally know how up and down seasons can be,” Thomas said. “You think, ‘Oh man, these touchdowns are rolling.’ And then a couple of weeks go by, and you’re like, ‘Man, I haven’t seen the end zone.’”
 
Thomas said he’s just taking it “one week at a time,” and he’s just trying to give his team a chance to win each week.
 
“If that’s scoring touchdowns, then I’ll be most happy to do that,” Thomas said.

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