When it comes to football, Peyton Manning has always been lauded for his analytical mind. As such, prior to his team acquiring tight end Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, reached out to the retired quarterback about his former Denver Broncos teammate.

“[He said] that [Thomas] figured it out,” Christensen told the Palm Beach Post of Manning’s report. “[Thomas’] figure-it-out factor was high. That’s what you look for. There’s a guy who came in and probably didn’t know a whole bunch about football, or played very little. His experience was very minimal, and then [he] came in and figured it out and then worked. [Manning] talked a lot about [Thomas asking], ‘Would you stay out and help me with this? Take me through this. Would you watch a little tape with me? Would you explain what you want on this?’ And he still does the same thing. I’ll see him in [head] coach [Adam] Gase’s office and his questions are right. His questions and his process are right, which as a coach, [is what] you’re looking for.”

A teammate of Manning’s for three seasons (2012-14), Thomas Broke in with the Broncos in 2011, but didn’t make an impact until 2013. Coincidentally, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was the Broncos offensive coordinator for Thomas’ final two seasons in Denver, during which the tight end had over 1,200 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.

After the 2014 season, Thomas moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars for two disappointing seasons.The Dolphins are hoping that he can regain his former form in their familiar offense.

Christensen knows Manning from their time together with the Indianapolis Colts. Christensen, was the team’s wide receivers coach from 2002-08 and offensive coordinator 2009-11. Coincidentally, he became the quarterbacks coach after Manning left, serving in the position from 2012-15.