NFL

Buzz: Marvel at Joe Thomas' streak

Share This Story

Tully Corcoran

Tully Corcoran spent seven years covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His work has been honored multiple times by The Kansas Press Association. He most recently wrote for FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
   
 

SIDELINE PRINCESSES

They're fit, they're pretty and we can't get enough of them. Check out the the 2013 NFL cheerleaders.

Which football position best exemplifies the sport itself?

A case could be made for middle linebacker. That’s the Dick Butkus position, the Mike Singletary position, the Ray Lewis position. It’s all physicality and intensity, the base elements of the game.

But I submit that the truest embodiment of what football really is goes to the offensive tackle position. More specifically, it belongs to Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who has played every single offensive down for the Browns since he joined the team in 2007 -- 6,054 snaps in a row.

We know this thanks to some good PR work by Browns communications coordinator Dan Murphy.

Quick reminder about what Thomas does for a living: He collides with huge men. I don’t know how many of those 6,054 snaps involved Thomas hitting someone, but I reason more than 95 percent had contact.

Having covered a few football teams over the years, I also suspect that Thomas ranks among the smartest players on the Browns. Offensive linemen usually do. He probably understands the offense as well as the quarterback, or maybe better since we're talking about the Browns.

The job requirements include being one of the biggest and strongest guys on the team, but also being light enough on his feet to shuffle in front of defensive ends and linebackers that look like muscled-up basketball players and run 4.7 40-yard dashes.

He is equal parts ballerina, snow plow and honor student.

That’s a more complete representation of modern, sophisticated football than the shrieking banshee linebacker who, as my junior high coach liked to say, “is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.”

That’s the cerebral part of this, and it’s important, but today is more of a celebration of the physical. It’s ludicrous to think Thomas hasn’t been injured during any of those many snaps. I know that old football saying about the difference between being hurt and being injured, and I know there’s a lot of nonsense built into that. I’ve known offensive linemen to play on broken legs, OK? There’s a difference between “wide receiver injured” and “offensive lineman injured.”

These guys have a different standard, maybe the highest in sports. And Joe Thomas somehow raised it.

Now, let's hit the links:

• An Edmonton Eskimo reflects on the suicide of one-time teammate Paul Oliver.

• Mariano Rivera's jersey is the No. 1 seller post-All-Star break.

• Someone paid more than $2,000 for a game-used Syracuse helmet. No, it wasn't Jim Brown's helmet.

• Jack Nicklaus will drop the puck at the Blue Jackets' opener.

• Man accused of stalking pro golfer Morgan Pressel.

• The Bears once won a game on a free kick by Mac Percival.

• Could manager Joe Girardi be on his way out of the Bronx, too?

• Tate George testifies: I'm an honest person.

• Former Colts coach Jim Caldwell is keeping things simple as the Ravens' offensive coordinator.

• How longtime Syracuse aide Mike Hopkins wound up at USC.

• A documentary celebrates the life and times of George Plimpton.

• There'll be more than one race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2014.

• These triplets love to run -- on the same team.

Tagged: Bears, Browns, Ravens, Joe Thomas

More Stories From Tully Corcoran

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

Best Person in Sports: Keenan Lewis Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Saints CB Keenan Lewis hosts a back-to-school event, giving children medical ser...

NFL Roundtable: New York Jets Posted: Jul 14, 2014
They're a team with plenty to prove and a roster of players primed to get it don...

NFL Roundtable: Detroit Lions Posted: Jul 11, 2014
A team with so many weapons, is this the season that the Lions put together and ...

More Than Sports on MSN