Browns’ Joe Thomas: Change means taking a step back

Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas is holding out hope that there isn't a regime change in Cleveland.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

By David Kenyon

After yet another disappointing NFL season, the Cleveland Browns could find a new head coach. However, longtime left tackle Joe Thomas voiced his support of Mike Pettine.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer notes Thomas said the organization must be prepared to once again take a step back if the coaching staff isn’t brought back for the 2016 campaign.

“I guess I don’t want to really think about it or talk about it much. But I will say that any time you make a change in an organization on the coaching staff or you make a change in the organization, there is a one step back that you have to take and that’s just a part of making a change.”

Thomas said a new regime means new players, coaches and management as well as philosophies, procedures and schemes. “It really takes a few years in a scheme before you can get really good at something,” he said, echoing the sentiments of quarterback Johnny Manziel earlier this week.

Even if Cleveland doesn’t fire Pettine, though, Thomas and his teammates would be placing significant trust into the front office, which hasn’t exactly earned it.

From repeated failures in the NFL draft to complete misses on free-agent signings — looking at you, Dwayne Bowe — the Browns have rarely taken steps forward. Thomas has played for five coaches during his nine seasons, and excluding a yet-to-be-finished 2015, only once has the franchise won anything other than four or five games.

That was with Pettine last season.

Although Cleveland isn’t going to win a Super Bowl anytime soon, shuffling through coaches every other year certainly isn’t helping the team reach mediocrity.

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