Joe Thomas remembers the hype heading into the first high-profile matchup of his NFL career.
The 2007 Week 6 matchup pitted Thomas against future Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, who was in the middle of his 11th season. Named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, Taylor would go on to make his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl after compiling 11 sacks. It'd be his last campaign in which he'd rack up double-digit sacks.
"This was a matchup people had circled," Thomas said. "People on TV going into the game, everyone wanted to talk to me about it. 'Rookie left tackle, defensive player of the year. It's probably going to be a disaster.'"
It wasn't. Taylor got a sack on this day, but Thomas largely bottled him up.
In this week's episode, Thomas discusses what made Taylor the elite pass rusher he was and how his background in martial arts helped him contain Taylor in a game the Browns would ultimately win, 41-31.
Give it a watch or listen. Episode 6 will air next Tuesday.