ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- 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 she was 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 nonviolent offenders.
Smith called Thomas on Thursday to tell him she was 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 will 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 is likely to involve the first airplane flight of Smith's life.
"It's going to be a little different," Thomas said. "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."
Smith has never had the luxuries of modernity that Thomas takes for granted.
"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'll catch on quick," Thomas added.
That's what Thomas is trying to do with Denver's 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, which relies more on the run.
Despite Denver dialing down the passing game, Thomas has said he is out to break Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving record of 1,964 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."