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Originally published January 21, 2014 at 8:47 PM | Page modified January 21, 2014 at 11:31 PM

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Denver’s Julius Thomas expects physical game

Third-year tight end respects Sherman, but also plans to be tough on Seahawks defenders.

The Denver Post

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He better be ready for a physical game. Ask jimmy graham and Vernon Davis how Kam is... MORE


DENVER — Broncos tight end Julius Thomas would expect nothing less in the Super Bowl than to face the best. The matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Broncos pits the top seeds in the AFC and NFC. Thomas and the Broncos’ No. 1 offense against the Seahawks’ No. 1 defense.

“This is for all the marbles, so I’m pretty sure it will be a tough game all around,” Thomas said. “It’s the Super Bowl, so it’s going to be tough. I’m pretty sure you’re going to see two teams playing as physical as possible.”

Seattle’s defense has a reputation for being physical. Expect Denver’s receivers to get heavy man-to-man coverage and bumping at the line of scrimmage by the likes of All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

“He’s done a great job ever since he’s been in the league,” Thomas said. “He likes to have a little fun out there. I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with that.”

Sherman tipped a pass at the end of Seattle’s 23-17 NFC Championship Game victory Sunday, leading to an interception by Malcolm Smith that clinched the game. Sherman then went ballistic in a postgame TV interview, praising himself and criticizing San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree.

“I know he’s a terrific player, a great cover guy,” Broncos coach John Fox said.

As for Sherman’s postgame rant, Fox wasn’t about to be drawn into a controversy.

“I really can’t comment,” he said. “I know the Seahawks are statistically very good on defense and in particular pass defense. I’m sure their secondary has a lot to do with that.”

Seattle ranked first in fewest yards allowed per game (273.6), fewest passing yards allowed (172.0) and fewest points allowed per game (14.4).

Thomas has had a breakout season as a third-year pro. In the playoffs, he has been clutch, with six catches for 76 yards against San Diego and eight catches for 85 yards Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.

“Nothing is easy,” Thomas said. “I put a lot of time into practice. I’m going to pride myself on being tough to cover. You’re going to go up against tough defenders. If I can make it easier on our team by making sure I get open as quickly as possible, it’s definitely something I continue to keep trying to highlight.

“A lot of hard work goes into getting to this position. Some people think it starts in September, but for us, it starts way back in April. To know that you’re one of the last two teams left in this tournament is a great feeling.”

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