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Joe Thomas - Hall of Fame 2023

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The top quotes about Joe Thomas and his sparkling career

Here's what Thomas' teammates, coaches and peers said when they reflected on his remarkable talents and 11-year NFL career

Offensive tackle Joe Thomas (73) during an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns  and Philadelphia Eagles on September 11, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Browns lost 10–29.
Offensive tackle Joe Thomas (73) during an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles on September 11, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Browns lost 10–29.

In four days, we'll finally find out if Joe Thomas is worthy of a first-ballot entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The numbers and career comparisons with other first-ballot offensive tackles in Canton suggest he is. Now, we're taking a look at what his teammates, coaches and peers said over the years about his durability and dominance as time ticks down to Thursday's reveal for the Class of 2023.

I'll stake my reputation on it: Joe's going to be an excellent left tackle for as long he wants to be. I coached [Baltimore Ravens All-Pro] Jonathan Ogden and [former Jacksonville Jaguars standout] Tony Boselli in college years ago, and Joe's going to be every bit the player they've been. I don't see a weakness in him. Former Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Palcic, who coached Thomas in college, in 2007 before Thomas was drafted by the Browns
Joe was a pro's pro. The day he walked through that door his rookie year, he just knew how to do it. He just took the right notes. We knew he was going to be a great player. We just weren't sure until the pads came on, but he all showed us how good he was going to be in Year 1. Former Browns center and guard Hank Fraley, who played with Thomas his first three seasons
I can’t really remember a time where he was banged up. If he was, he never showed it. I was always impressed with the way he trained. So calculated. Had that track background, so he never overtrained. Knew when to shut it down. I was always a grinder, so I used to watch him work out and think, ‘Man he should be doing more.’ Clearly, I was wrong. … Him and (ex-Browns strength coach) Tom Myzlinski were dialed in as far as when they’d push him and when they didn’t. Former Browns QB Brady Quinn on Thomas' durability and workout routines
He's one of the best that plays that position. He has good feet. He has good hands. And he can withstand the bull rush. Former Steelers edge rusher James Harrison on Thomas in 2009
Of everyone in professional football, I know he's one of the best linemen in the NFL. Having someone like that, I think, is going to be a great benefit as a mentor on and off the field and watching him play on and every-day basis. Being able to watch the practice film and see what he does I think is a great way to learn as a player. To be able to learn from him will be an amazing opportunity. Browns LG Joel Bitonio on Thomas after he was drafted by the Browns in 2014
He's a great technician, and he's got great physical talent and length. He understands his strengths, and he utilizes them and plays to them. He understands situational football. He's always prepared. He knows the moves of the people that rush him. He earns the reputation that he has. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Thomas in 2014
Before I got here I used to hear about him. 'Joe Thomas is the best tackle in the game.' I said, 'Yeah?' I never saw him play, but that's what I heard. Now since I'm here, and I see his work ethic, what he's able to do in the game ... he takes it from the practice field to the game and it's real. It is real. Former Browns LB Karlos Dansby
This is the NFL and there are very few special matchups and he's one of them. People forget Joe and I did a commercial together when he was coming out [of college]. I got to meet him on a personal level. An all-around great guy, a fierce competitor, and he's going to get after it like we're going to get after it. Former Ravens Pro Bowl LB Terrell Suggs on facing Thomas in 2013
God damn, that is legit. That is pretty amazing, especially in this league. It is a physical league for his position. That is a pretty awesome milestone, accomplishment. Terrell Suggs in 2017 before Thomas eclipsed 10,000 consecutive snaps in the NFL
You can't be voted in the Hall of Fame when you're still playing, right? I think he should consider making a move toward the Hall of Fame and retire because we're getting tired of playing against him. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh days before Thomas reached his 10,000th consecutive snap
The most remarkable thing is the quality of the 10,000. A lot of people could probably play 10,000 snaps but not at that level. You take the talent and it's the dependability, it's the quality, and Joe has exceeded it. Nobody's done it better, not only the play that he's had but the quality of person that he is. Browns legendary former tackle and radio color commentator Doug Dieken on Thomas approaching 10,000 snaps
He’s super-durable. He does have the constitution of a horse. He was never really sick as a kid. He’s got his dad’s bones, which are freakishly thick. He’s just a healthy kid, and always has been. Sally Thomas, Joe's mom, in 2017
Just playing 10 years in the NFL is tough to do. But to play without being really injured and play every snap is honestly a miracle in its own self. It's a credit to him, how he works and puts in that time. It's going to be tough to move on from. Bitonio after Thomas tore his triceps on Oct. 22, 2017, ending Thomas' streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps, believed to be the longest in NFL history
He’s like an all-timer. I’ve played this game for a long time with a lot of teams and a lot of teammates, and he’s got to be one of my all-time favorites. He’s a good man, a high-character person, and he works his tail off and shares his knowledge with others, serves his team to the utmost, and he’s great at his job. Not good, but great. He’s a special dude. Former Browns QB Josh McCown in 2017, when he was in his 15th NFL season
It’s hard to be in a bad mood around Joe – and believe me, I tried. What he accomplished did not happen by accident. Joe’s work ethic and preparation habits are among the very best in the history of this league. They serve as a tremendous example for young players wanting to play this great game for a long time. It’s an honor to have coached Joe Thomas. I will be counting down the days until he is enshrined in Canton. Former Browns coach Mike Pettine (2014-15) before Thomas' retirement in 2018
Obviously, the techniques are a little different. Joe is an absolute unicorn. You see his set and say, ‘Oh, anybody could do that.' But, no, he’s special. His attention to detail, we’re talking about his preparation, so much other stuff that comes with football other than setting back, getting in his little stance and all that stuff. Browns RG Wyatt Teller on Thomas after Thomas attended and offered critique to linemen during a 2022 training camp practice
Joe is always welcome here. I have told him that. He can come every day if he wants. We will set up a locker for him. He is somebody who has done it at such a high level for such a long time and been through the ups and downs of an NFL season so I just feel like he has a lot to offer our guys. As much as Joe is willing, we are always willing to take him here in Berea. Head coach Kevin Stefanski after Thomas' 2022 training camp visit
I tried and I was nowhere near. I missed a lot of games in my career, and it's a physical game. It's a tough sport. And him playing on the line, a position where you're hitting every single play, you're battling against the best pass rushers that they have, it just shows like his body, it's a blessing that you can be able to play. It's 100% injury. So he's not only playing healthy, he's playing hurt out there, fighting for his teammates. And to play at that consistent high level, just, I can't say that enough, to go to consecutive Pro Bowls, to not miss snaps and to be there for your team every single week for 16 weeks, that's unheard of. Former Browns CB Joe Haden on Jan. 25 on Thomas' snap streak

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