The Cleveland Browns best offensive lineman Joe Thomas isn’t an outspoken type of guy, but when he does talk, he commands the attention of his team.
Thomas talked about the now Kansas City Chief amd former teammate Peyton Hillis, unleashing his opinion on Hillis' last year in Cleveland, how the one year wonder running back wasn’t a team player, to say the least.
He tells of the selfish antics that helped bring down the team in order to obtain a new contract.
The Browns have Trent Richardson now, and he’s looking more and more like the real thing, but the contrast between team player and one man wrecking crew was on full display for Thomas to explain.
“It was a terrible distraction,” Thomas said, via the Associated Press. “He crippled our offense. We were struggling to find anybody who could carry the ball after all the injuries we had. To have Peyton going through a contract dispute and basically refusing to play, it was a big distraction. But more than anything, he was our starting running back that was a good player who was going to help us be a successful offense."
“When he’s not there and you don’t have anybody to turn to, it makes it hard to win. And that’s the distraction, it’s not being successful. He was everything people knew about him — hard-working, blue-collar, tough, would do anything for anybody on the team,” Thomas said.
“All he cared about was winning, and then all of a sudden the next year, all he cared about was trying to get his new contract. It was kind of one weird thing after another more than anything,” Thomas said. “We have guys getting married during the season and it’s not a big deal.
When you’re ‘injured’ [yes, Thomas used air quotes . . . take that, Kuselias] and you should be getting treatment, to go do your own thing repeatedly was just disrespectful more than anything to his teammates.”
“You see a lot of guys in contract disputes, like Matt Forte,” Thomas said. “His solution was, ‘I’m going to go out and prove they have to have me and they can’t play without me. The frustrating thing to a lot of teammates was you would try to talk to him and you try to tell him, ‘That’s not the right way to do it if you want to get your big contract.’ He just wouldn’t listen to anybody.”
“People who thought they were very close friends with him, he wouldn’t listen to anybody. He thought he knew the right way to do it and it ended up not being the right way and hurting everybody. Not just himself. It was a tough situation.”