ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Demaryius Thomas is still waiting to see his mother out from behind bars for the first time since the police came busting into his house one morning when he was 11.
Katina Smith and her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, were arrested on drug trafficking charges. The police allowed Smith to walk her kids to the school bus stop before being taken into custody.
Last month, President Barack Obama cut short Smith's sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Florida, part of his push to reduce the prison population of non-violent offenders.
Smith called Thomas on Thursday to tell him she was back in Georgia.
"She's at a halfway house," Thomas said. "That's a good start."
Thomas has spoken about having his mother live near him, and with a new five-year, $70 million contract in hand, he'll be able to get her a nice home one day.
What he longs for right now is a reunion with his mom upon her release from the halfway house, one that will likely involve the first airplane flight of Smith's life.
"It's going to be a little different. I've actually been thinking about it, but I ain't going to overthink it. I'm just going to let it go with the flow and roll with it," Thomas said.
Smith has never had the luxuries of modernity that Thomas takes for granted, like an iPhone or an iPad.
"My cousin hit me up the other day and she was like, my mom asked her to go get a Walkman," Thomas said. "I'm like, 'A Walkman? We don't use Walkmans no more.'"
She's got some adjustments to make.
"She'll catch on quick," Thomas said.
That's what Thomas is trying to do with Denver's new offense after skipping the Broncos' offseason program in a contract stalemate.
He and Peyton Manning are trying to rediscover their rhythm while adjusting to coach Gary Kubiak's new offense that relies more on the run.
Despite Denver dialing down the passing game, Thomas is on record saying he's out to break Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving record of 1,974 yards set in 2012.
"Everybody's going to be trying to stop the run game," Thomas said, "and there's going to be lots of plays to be made deep."
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton