BOSTON (CBS) — Demaryius Thomas’ time in New England was brief. Yet based on the heartfelt way that his former Patriots teammates reacted to his sudden passing, it’s clear that Thomas made several deep connections in the summer of 2019.

On Wednesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about what he remembered about Thomas during their time together in 2019.

“That’s a very sad and unfortunate situation,” Belichick said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Great kid that didn’t have an easy start to his life but really embraced every opportunity he had. He had great relationships with everybody from the top on down to the lowest ball boy or teammates. Always had a smile on his face, worked hard, great team player, and a very passionate and compassionate individual. Did everything you asked him to do. I think everybody has a ton of respect for DT.”

Belichick noted that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had the deepest relationship with Thomas, dating back to their time together in Denver. But Belichick noted that Thomas forged a lot of strong relationships in a short period of time in Foxboro.

“We have a lot of people that had relationships with him, and they were all positive,” Belichick said. “I don’t think anybody could ever find a bad word to say about him. And we think about all that he went through and what he accomplished in his life and what he had overcome and what a person — I mean, he’s a great player but he’s a better person.”

CBSBoston.com Staff