CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – If Joe Thomas has played his last down for the Cleveland Browns, a pair of former Browns don’t think his days working in Berea should be over.
Former quarterback and fellow member of the 2007 NFL Draft class Brady Quinn and former left tackle and current Browns radio network analyst Doug Dieken have a suggestion for Jimmy and Dee Haslam: hire Thomas in the front office.
“He goes down in history as Jim Brown-esque, ” Quinn said Monday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Why don’t you bring him into the front office? You think this young man doesn’t know football? You think this young man doesn’t have the ability to be able to help guide you and understand what’s wrong?”
Thomas was selected third in that 2007 draft while Quinn was picked 22nd overall following a trade with the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately Quinn quickly became a victim of the turmoil so many quarterbacks have had to deal with since the franchise returned in 1999 while Thomas has endured and will likely end up in Canton, Ohio.
“Joe Thomas is a guy who’s earned his name and reputation playing there,” Quinn said. “He’s a part of that community now. Him and his wife Annie have been there for a long time. Maybe he would be another name people should consider as far as who they should look to to help give them guidance moving forward. A guy that’s got something invested given everything he’s poured in with his blood, sweat and tears throughout the years.”
Until the 5:30 mark of the third quarter Sunday Thomas had never missed a snap.
He played through a multitude of knee, ankle and arm injuries throughout his 167 consecutive games played that saw him not miss a play for 10,363 consecutive snaps en route to 10 straight Pro Bowl bids.
The Browns only won 48 games and they lost 119 under 6 different head coaches and 20 starting quarterbacks, and if there was anyone that deserved a play or 2 off it was Thomas, but he never took it.
“He’s the iron man of the NFL,” Quinn said. “That’s the one thing, not the only thing, but one of the things that people will remember about Joe Thomas. He is football’s version of Cal Ripken, if you will, as far as consecutive snaps played at a position that is constantly in a fight every single play for the last 11 years, ten thousand three hundred some odd snaps. That’s what’s so remarkable about it.”
Dieken echoed Quinn’s thoughts about adding Thomas to the front office during an interview with Bull and Fox Monday afternoon on 92.3 The Fan.
“We’ve heard the talk of Peyton Manning coming in and obviously Peyton would be a guy who would definitely hold people accountable and to the same extent as we took towards Joe Thomas and getting to the end of his career, there’s a guy that someday would make a good person in the front office too,” Dieken said. “Because the way he handles himself and he relates to players and you see him out there after practice helping younger guys and taking the time, those are the kind of people you want in your organization – people that are all for team and not about me.”
With the Browns 0-7 and careening towards another disastrous season that could rival the franchise-worst 1-15 campaign a year ago, the team is in dire need of guidance and if Thomas chooses to hang them up, adding him to the front office would at least buy the Haslams some credibility.