When you think of the all-time greats in the history of the Cleveland Browns, names like Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza and Paul Brown immediately come to mind.
In this generation of Browns players from 1999 to the present, not too many come to mind except for Josh Cribbs, Phil Dawson and of course Joe Thomas.
Since being drafted third overall in the 2007 NFL Draft, Thomas has been the one constant in an organization that’s seen constant turnover.
On Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns left tackle and franchise player reached a mark that may never be duplicated again.
10,000 consecutive snaps.
Thomas hasn’t missed a single snap in his entire career, it’s the longest known consecutive snap streak in the near 100 year history of the National Football League.
Despite injuries and the inconsistent play around him, he’s always shown up and done his job which has made him perhaps the best offensive lineman of his generation and arguably all time.
Six regime changes and 20 starting quarterbacks haven’t phased Thomas although I’m sure inside he would like to be apart of a winning organization but he’s remained dedicated and loyal to the Browns and the city of Cleveland.
His blue collar work ethic and lifestyle which we all saw that when he chose to go fishing instead of being in the spotlight in New York City on draft weekend back in 2007 made him an instant fan favorite.
Even when he was nearly traded to Denver back at the 2015 NFL trade deadline, Thomas never lost his composure or tried to force his way out like many others in Cleveland have before and after that moment.
I hope that one day before Thomas retires which could be any year now with him in his 11th NFL season that the Browns get to the postseason to cement his career and legacy. He’s only been apart of one winning season which was his rookie year when the team went 10-6.
He’s going to go down as one of the all-time greats at the left tackle position and is a lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and it’s been a pleasure to watch him play and it’ll be a sad day in Cleveland when he does decide to hang it up.
Thanks Joe and congratulations on a historic mark.