Photo credit: Jason Miller / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
Out of all the active players in the NFL only Tom Brady has more Pro Bowl selections than Cleveland Browns Offensive Tackle Joe Thomas and that’s an achievement we need to take a second to absorb. Brady has 12 Pro Bowl appearances but Thomas and three other players (Drew Brees, Jason Witten, and Larry Fitzgerald) have an impressive 10 Pro Bowl nominations. Those are the most out of all the current players but the most by any player ever was done by Tony Gonzalez, Peyton Manning, Bruce Matthews, and Merlin Olsen who all had 14. So clearly Joe Thomas is up there with the very best football players of all time and he has been a staple on the Browns offensive line since entering the league back in 2007. Cleveland struggled last year going 1-15 but the Browns had three 1st round draft picks to help bolster their roster. Only David Njoku was an offense player out of those three 1st rounders but that’s another player to line up next to Thomas and help get the job done. The Browns will also have a much more competitive quarterback depth chart as well. Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, and DeShone Kizer will all battle for the starting job and Thomas has to be the one who leads the blocking upfront. The Browns also signed Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter to add to that offensive front, that gives Thomas one of the best crews he has ever had and the Browns could impose their will in the running game. Expect Thomas and the rest of the pack to open up holes for Isaiah Crowell and Head Coach Hue Jackson will have a much better chance at success his second time around. That’s ultimately what Joe Thomas has to be most pleased with because he rarely has had a chance to compete while in Cleveland. The Browns aren’t a lock to win the Super Bowl, and truthfully this team isn’t going to make the playoffs. However they are taking steps in the right direction and that has to feel good after being down for so long. Win or lose though expect Joe Thomas to go for his 11th Pro Bowl selection and that feat is a hell of an accomplishment.
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