There are few things better than a player that embraces his personality and runs with it as a joke. After all, there is the ever present thought that these players are getting paid large sums of money to play a game, so some self-awareness is appreciated. Joe Thomas is one that will always steer into the skid whether it’s in the form of the goofy team pictures or being one of the best quotes on the roster; he is a national treasure.
This year was no different, and during his recent press briefing, there was no drop-off. Thomas has taken many days off early on in this preseason, which is something coaches generally allow veterans to do to ensure that they are healthy for the regular season. He sat out the preseason opener and will sit out the Monday Night Football game against the Giants. He was asked whether or not he received any push back from ESPN about sitting out the game, and he came back with a zinger: “The ratings are going to plummet so I know they are going to be really upset.”
He was also asked about a spot he did for an E:60 where he smashed a (fake) guitar, “You guys already saw that (laughter)? I actually haven’t seen it yet. I’m excited to see how it turns out because I think it will look pretty cool. It was actually a fake guitar because they knew I wasn’t strong enough to break a real one. That is a true story (laughter). It was actually made of plywood.”
As a member of the offense, it’s inevitable that he will be asked about the quarterbacks by this collection of local media. Thomas knows the game by now and answered all them to the best of his ability, but when asked about Kizer’s development, he did answer with a bit of snark, ultimately landing on a great response. “From an Xs and Os standpoint, I’m not sure because I don’t sit in their meetings, and I don’t understand his position in the way I would have to to evaluate his progress, but from a comfort, confidence and leadership standpoint, which is what I can grade and what I think as a quarterback is very important, you do see that maturity and that growth happening. You see that confidence coming, and I think that is one of the most important things for a quarterback. He has to be confident getting back into his drop that he can go through his progressions quickly, throw to his spot, someone is going to be there and it is going to be a completed pass. He has to have confidence in knowing that he understands the defense and the route concepts. In that respect, I do think he is making some nice progress, and I am excited for his future.”
Then there is the hammer. Easily the best quote from Thomas was redacted in the official transcript sent out by the Cleveland Browns but was captured by Zac Jackson of The Athletic.
Joe Thomas: “Of the 25 offensive coordinators I have had here, I don’t remember one who said we aren’t going to run the football.”
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) August 16, 2017
The best part was that at first glance, my brain legitimately allowed the idea that Thomas has had 25 offensive coordinators. Here’s to at least two more years of amazingness from the future Hall of Famer.