Joe Thomas cracks jokes, reflects on career as Cleveland Brown

BEREA, Ohio– Joe Thomas held a news conference at the Cleveland Browns training facility Monday afternoon following his retirement announcement last week.

The offensive tackle, who played seven games last season before suffering torn triceps, said he his body, in particular his knee, could not continue to compete at the necessary level.

On Monday, owner Jimmy Haslam introduced Thomas, then general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson presented him with a Browns fishing poll.

While his NFL career had quiet beginnings, on a fishing boat in Wisconsin with his dad on draft day, he eventually became a vocal personality on the team. That shined during his retirement news conference, as he made jokes about everyone from former quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Brandon Weeden, to former team executives Ray Farmer and Sashi Brown.

Thomas will miss the brotherhood of the locker room the most. He shared a few memories, like Phil Dawson’s rule-changing kick against the Ravens in 2007 and dancing with Brian Hoyer after the Browns beat the Titans in 2014.

Thomas thanked his head coaches, general managers and former teammates including Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz and Joel Bitonio. He also had a lot of kind words about Browns fans.

“I hope I was able to make you guys proud,” Thomas said. “My excitement for my team and my city never wavered.”

As for his future, Thomas said he has a lot of things to think about. He wants to still be involved in football and would consider a broadcasting career. Right now, his job is changing from left tackle to being the No. 1 fan of the Cleveland Browns. He’s also looking foward to spending more time with his family.

The Browns selected Thomas with the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and played 10,363 consecutive snaps, which is believed to the longest streak in league history.

The 33-year-old will be enshrined into the Browns Ring of Honor this year and will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton in five years.

More stories on Joe Thomas here

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:35 pm

“It really is truly remarkable,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says about Joe Thomas’ consecutive snap record. Only five other people have been selected to 10 Pro Bowls. Joe Thomas holds the Browns record. Jim Brown and Lou Groza had 9.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:37 pm

Haslam now speaking about Joe’s off-the-field record. He’s a three-time recipient of the Browns Walter Payton Man of the Award. 

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:38 pm

The Browns give Joe Thomas a No. 73 fishing pole since he was fishing with his dad when he found out he was drafted by the Browns.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:40 pm

“This off-season there were a lot of people who reached out to me when they found out I was considering retirement,” Thomas says. Now with the jokes. He’s Ray Farmer tried to text him, but it was during a game and he got fined. Brandon Weeden tried to call, but he was stuck under the giant American flag. Johnny Manziel tried to text, but his money phone wasn’t working.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:42 pm

Joe Thomas shares memories. Baltimore on the road and Phil Dawson went to kick a field goal, it bounced in and they went to the locker room thinking they lost. But the game went into overtime.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:42 pm

Of the Rob Chudzinski era, “That was a fun two days,” Joe Thomas says.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:43 pm

Joe Thomas says he’ll tell his kids about LeBron James tweeting to him when he hit 10,000 consecutive snaps and again when he retired.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:45 pm

“I think it’s appropriate that after 11 great season, I thank a lot of people,” Thomas says. He thanks his wife Annie, his children and his parents.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:46 pm

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:47 pm

“I get celebrate the two greatest dates back-to-back,” Joe Thomas says of the city of Cleveland declaring July 3 “Joe Thomas Day.” He calls it another reason to party.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:49 pm

He lists his head coaches and general managers, as well as the people who walked around the building with brief cases.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:50 pm

He thanks for equipment staff for finding pants big enough for him. He says that ninja’s are quick and nimble, and they were baggy pants.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:51 pm

Joe Thomas thanks a few teammates, including Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz and Joel Bitonio. 

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:54 pm

“You were the ones who took me in as one of your own,” Thomas says of the fans. “I hope I was able to make you guys proud… My excitement for my team and my city never wavered.”

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:55 pm

Thomas says he’s changing job from being a left tackle to being the No. 1 fan of the Cleveland Browns.

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:56 pm

“What’s next? I’m not sure,” he says. He’s keeping his options open. “I’m really excited to spend more time with my family.”

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:58 pm

Thomas says he reflected on his season last year and he was rough shape. He says he was concerned he wasn’t going to make it through the season because of his knee. That was in the weeks leading up to tearing his triceps. 

Jen Steer March 19, 20183:59 pm

“Hopefully, there’s a future with the team. Hopefully, Jimmy, Dee and I will talk about it a little in the off season,” Joe Thomas says.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:00 pm

Thomas says he doesn’t plan on living in Cleveland year round. His family and his wife’s family lives in Wisconsin and they like having help with the kids.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:00 pm

“That brotherhood you get in the locker room is unique to football,” Thomas says that’s what he’ll miss the most.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:01 pm

Thomas is asked about saying he wanted to get into the Hall of Fame when he was drafted.

“You thought I was lying, didn’t you?” Thomas says. He starts laughing again.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:02 pm

“I think we’ve got an outstanding general manager in John Dorsey,” Thomas says about the Browns moving forward.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:03 pm

He’s asked about what his perfect post-football career is like: “Do they have any jobs where you don’t show up and you make a lot of money?” Thomas says laughing. “I want to stay around football.”

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:04 pm

Thomas says he wants to work with players, maybe do some broadcast work, but definitely stay involved with the Browns.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:06 pm

“I got good advice as a rookie to keep your mouth shut and keep your eyes open,” Thomas says. He says he realized that there was a positive opportunity in working with the media and getting his message out there.

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:08 pm

Joe Thomas compares himself to a mushroom, the type of guy you keep in a dark room, throw crap at and expect positive results. But over the last week, he’s received so much recognition from other players and LeBron. “I went through a lot of boxes of Kleenexes last week.”

Jen Steer March 19, 20184:10 pm

Thomas says Alex Mack had a great impact on his career, even though he was younger.