Demaryius Thomas’ statistically superb 2015 season with the Broncos — 105 catches and 1,304 receiving yards — was heavily shadowed by accusations of a lack of focus on football and a poor playoff performance. He is on a mission this year to prove that he is, in fact, committed to football, specifically the Broncos, and earn every dollar of his contract, whatever that amount may be come opening day.

During day three of OTAs, Thomas didn’t shy away from criticism about his play in 2015, even showing that he may be his harshest critic. Specifically comparing last year to the rest of his career, Thomas put it at the bottom.

“I’d say it was probably the worst I had in my past four,” said Thomas.

While moving forward to next year, he won’t completely forget about 2015, as he said that 2015 would “of course” provide motivation for the 2016 season.

The 2015 season was certainly an up-and-down season for Thomas, and while he didn’t make excuses, he did point to a few areas of improvement.

“I had a lot of drops where I could have made plays,” said Thomas. “I could have had a totally different year because of that.”

Even with the turmoil at quarterback last year, when asked why he had too many dropped balls, Thomas took the responsibility upon himself.

“Probably thinking too much. I have no idea. I wasn’t looking the ball in. Trying to run too fast. It was just simple things where I should’ve made plays,” said Thomas. “That’s my job, I should be able to go out and do that.”

More often than not, drops are simply a lack of focus and concentration. However, most of the time it is due to on field situations — a linebacker about to make a crushing hit or thinking about how to turn up field and score. In Thomas’s situation, it wasn’t about in game situations; it was about his mom seeing him play for the first time and trying to live up to his new contract.

Moving forward, Thomas doesn’t see either of these as being an issue.

“I don’t have to worry about my mom. She’s good. Contract is over with. I’m here now trying to learn what I need to learn and not rushing it [like] when I came the first time,” said Thomas. “It’s all football.”

But is Thomas’s contract situation truly over? With reports and speculation in the offseason that the Broncos may ask him to rework his contract, Thomas said he would do what the team asked of him.

“I had some stuff [come up], but it wasn’t about restructuring. It was doing something to get cap space. I was going with it. It is what it is. If they want me to do something, I’ll do it,” said Thomas.

Thomas is most likely referring to the clause in his contract that allows the Broncos to open up cap space by shifting his base salary into a singing bonus. However, by leaving the door open, there is always a chance Elway will ask Thomas to take a pay cut.

Regardless, Thomas is not only saying the right things about his playing future with the Broncos, but he is doing the right things. It was just a year ago that Thomas held out of OTAs until he received a new contract, and in his mind, there is no doubt that having a full offseason with the team will have a major impact.

“I think it will be a big difference. Coming in at training camp and trying to learn stuff so fast, [it] wasn’t so easy with a new offense. We’re in here now seeing it from the beginning. We’ve got new plays in, new faces. I think it will be big being in here with the guys now,” Said Thomas.

If everything that Thomas has been saying about his improvement from last year to this year is true, it is scary to think about what a good year for him will look like.

Thomas did push back on the criticism and wanted to remind everyone of the mission.

“The main goal is to win the Super Bowl, and we did that,” said Thomas. “Everybody is going to have their say about what I did and what I didn’t do. But at the end of the day, we still won. I know I’ve got some improvement to do.”