Miami Dolphins

Now healthy, Julius Thomas expects to play at his ‘highest level’

Julius Thomas wants more touchdown celebrations. Many more.
Julius Thomas wants more touchdown celebrations. Many more. AP

Julius Thomas’ back? It’s fine.

So’s his ankle.

And his finger, too.

In fact, the oft-injured tight end, who officially joined the Dolphins via trade last week, says he’s rarely felt better.

“I don't really have any handicaps, anything that will hold me back,” Thomas said. “... I feel really good. I know that I'll be able to play at the highest level I've played in my career.”

That would be great for the Dolphins. It would mean they’d be getting as many touchdowns out of him in 2017 as they’ve gotten from the position — total — in the last two years.

Thomas’ glory days, of course, were 2013 and 2014, when he caught 12 touchdowns in each of the two years he spent with Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator.

That was in Denver, where the Broncos were setting all kinds of offensive records.

Now he’s reunited with Gase in Miami, which was why he was pumped about joining the Dolphins after two lost seasons with the Jaguars.

“I was really excited,” Thomas said. “Gase is a guy that I trust, a guy that I've had a relationship with for a long time. ... I really believe in his philosophy on off the field, and his approach to coaching.

“I’m looking forward to playing with him again,” Thomas added.

Thomas praised Gase’s creative offensive mind and his ability to exploit mismatches.

If his health is as good as he claims, Thomas might be the Dolphins’ biggest mismatch on the field. He’s too big for safeties. He’s too quick for linebackers.

And if he draws double team, it’s only going to free up Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills.

Thomas, who missed 11 games in his two years with the Jaguars, also said he’s excited about teaming with his new quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, who he saw grow more comfortable in Gase’s system as the season progressed.

“It's going to be an explosive offense,” Thomas said. “It's something we're going to expect to do, go out there and score points.”

So long as he stays out of the trainer’s room.

“I think that injuries are definitely something I've had to battle through,” Thomas added. “Sometimes they come at the most unfortunate time. I take everything for what it is. I can’t go back and change it.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase speaks with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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