Checking in from the pre-draft presser and catching up with Julius Thomas.— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 20, 2017
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April 23 (UPI) -- New Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas is reuniting with coach Adam Gase in 2017 and says it "feels like home."
Thomas was traded to the Dolphins in February in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2013 and 2014, Thomas had 736 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons for the Jaguars. Gase was his offensive coordinator in his two best years when he had consecutive 12-touchdown seasons with the Denver Broncos.
"This is probably the best I've ever felt," Thomas told the Dolphins website. "Luckily for me, none of my injuries [ankle/hand/back] have been really chronic things...[This] being the first offense that I ever really played in, it feels a lot like home. I've been able to have success in it and I understand kind of what it takes to play at a high level. It's definitely comforting for me."
Thomas steps into Gase's offense as the top tight end following the departure of Dion Sims. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill also has Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker in his progressions, as well as adequate pass catchers in the backfield.
Thomas played just nine games in 2016 due to a fractured tailbone, back and ankle issues, and an elbow ailment.
In March, Thomas told the Miami Herald that he's healthy and ready to play at his "highest level."
"I don't really have any handicaps, anything that will hold me back," Thomas told the Herald. "...I feel really good. I know that I'll be able to play at the highest level I've played in my career."
Thomas turns 29-years-old on June 27.
"...just to see the kind of athletes we have on offense, you start looking around that room and you start thinking about, visualizing those explosive plays," Thomas told the Dolphins website. "That visualization starts today. It starts when we all get together and start making sure that we know, hey, we have to be an offense that goes out there and puts our best effort forward every day. We're going to start here in this classroom, we're going to start here in these drills and then we're going to work to be where we want to be."
Thomas is playing on a two-year, $12.2 million deal.