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Thomas readies for sixth straight Pro Bowl

Posted Jan 27, 2013

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons.

When it was announced on Dec. 26, 2012, that Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas had been selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth consecutive season, he joined an elite group of NFL players.

Only 15 players have ever made it to the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons, and of that group, 13 have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including former Browns running back, Jim Brown.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Thomas said. “It’s humbling thinking about the other guys that have gone six for six in their first six years. Being down here, it’s such a fantastic experience to bring your family out here and meet a lot of the guys that you get to play with and against during the season.”

Five of the Pro Bowls Thomas has played in were held in Hawaii, like Sunday’s game at Aloha Stadium. He also played in the one in Miami back in 2010, when the NFL held the game in the Super Bowl host city the Sunday before the championship game.

“They’re all different in their own, unique way because of the people that are out here,” Thomas said. “They’re just all great experiences. Each one of them is unique, but a lot of them are just really a good time. It’s just great to come out here and play with the guys you see throughout the year and at different points throughout your career.”

This year, Thomas blocked for running back Trent Richardson, who equaled or broke six franchise rookie records, and quarterback Brandon Weeden, who set rookie team marks for wins (five), passing yards (3,385), and yards in a game (364 in a 20-17 win at Oakland on Dec. 2, 2012).

Having been his teammate since 2007, fellow Pro Bowler, kick returner Joshua Cribbs, said Thomas’ all-star game streak has been “very impressive.”

“You rarely hear his name during the games and that’s a good thing,” Cribbs said. “You never want to hear a lineman’s name. The only time you ever hear a lineman’s name is when he’s giving up a sack or something.

“He’s a guy that just goes to work on Sunday, puts his head down, goes to work. He’s looked at as a leader that coaches the other guys. Hands down, he’s the best Browns pick in over 10 years. I think that was a solid draft for the Browns when we acquired Joe, and he’s a future Hall of Famer.”