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Thomas sets tempo for team

Posted Dec 20, 2012

Joe Thomas has been a consistent leader for the Browns throughout his sixth NFL season.

Although the Cleveland Browns have been eliminated from playoff contention, five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas has reminded the team’s younger players that there is still plenty to play for when they head West to face the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday.

“It’s important, whether you’re in the playoffs or not, to go out and make a good impression for you and your teammates because nothing is given in the NFL,” Thomas said. “Anytime you go out there, you want to put your best foot forward, put your best stuff on tape. I think the young guys are starting to understand that.”

Delivering that message underscored that Thomas was an ideal choice to be one of the team’s three permanent captains in 2012, along with middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and kicker Phil Dawson.

Thomas is one of four Browns players to take every snap on his respective side of the football this season. Along with Thomas, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, right guard Shawn Lauvao and center Alex Mack have played every down of football for the Browns’ offense this year.

For the sixth consecutive season, Thomas has started every game for the Browns. His 96 consecutive games played are tied for the sixth-most among all active offensive linemen.

When talking about Thomas on Thursday, offensive coordinator Brad Childress said the five-time Pro Bowler has been “pretty steady.”

“There’s not a lot of stats to go around the left tackle position,” Childress said. “If the quarterback’s not getting knocked on his rear end from the blindside, you think the guy’s doing a good job. We haven’t talked about Joe that much in here, so he’s doing a pretty good job, just a steady job.”

With Thomas anchoring quarterback Brandon Weeden’s blindside, the Browns have allowed only 26 sacks, less than two per game through 14 contests. The 26 sacks are six fewer than the Browns allowed last year.

“Joe’s played well this year,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “He played well last year and from what I know of him, he’s played well prior to me being here. He’s a pro. He’s a very talented guy. He’s outstanding in pass protection and he’s a good run blocker. He’s what you’re looking for in a left tackle in this league.”

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