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Joe Thomas praises Brian Hoyer: He’s a lot like Tom Brady

Brian Hoyer country

The way Joe Thomas talks about Brian Hoyer, you’d swear the Cleveland Browns have the second coming of Y.A. Tittle on their hands.

Thomas, a veteran offensive lineman on the team and 7-time Pro Bowler, spoke with reporters after practice Monday and had nothing but praise for Hoyer, who is currently the team’s starter. Thomas even compared the former Patriots draft pick with New England’s star quarterback.

“He’s a lot like Tom Brady,” Thomas said at training camp Monday via Cleveland.com. “When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it’s no coincidence that those guys played together. (Hoyer) has a lot of those same mental attributes and that’s a great thing for a quarterback to have.

“He’s the ultimate competitor, and no matter if we drafted a quarterback No. 1 overall, I knew that in his mind he expects to win the job because that’s the type of competitor he is and the type of quarterback.”

Thomas says Hoyer has been keeping all the players in check and making all the right throws in practice. Though Hoyer only has four career starts to his name, Thomas says that hasn’t stopped the former Michigan State QB from acting like a veteran.

“He commands a level of respect because of the way he goes about doing his business the right way and acting like he is the starting quarterback that has taken us to five playoffs.”

You’d think the comments from Thomas would be a sign that he prefers Hoyer in the Browns’ quarterback race with Johnny Manziel, but that’s not what his praise of his QB was about; he also had positive things to say about Manziel.

“But Johnny is kind of a quiet guy around the facility. I’m sure it’s hard for most people to believe that with the kind of personality that he’s built up. But he’s kind of quiet. He does things the right way. You look at his notebook and he’s got all sorts of good notes. He sits in the front next to the coach and he’s just focused on his job when he’s here.”

I don’t know about you, but this praise of Hoyer seems excessive. I mean if the guy does anything less than make the Pro Bowl, I’m going to be disappointed. Sure, he went 3-0 last year as a starter, but I want to see what he does as the Week 1 starter of an NFL team. It’s a lot different this way. And Thomas raising the expectations may not exactly be the best thing for his teammate.

Photo: Twitter/STO Ashley

Peyton Hillis: Joe Thomas is like a ‘crazy ex-girlfriend’

The Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns will play on Sunday, and Peyton Hillis and Joe Thomas are treating us to a nice appetizer before the game.

On Wednesday, Thomas, a Pro Bowl left tackle for Cleveland, was critical of the way Hillis behaved last season as a member of the Browns.

“It was a terrible distraction,” Thomas said of Hillis’ attitude last season. “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.”

Hillis was such a distraction his behavior led his Browns teammates to reportedly hold an intervention last year.

On Thursday, Hillis, now with Kansas City, responded to Thomas’ comments.

“Joe Thomas, he can have his opinions all he wants,” Hillis said via the Associated Press. “It’s kind of like a crazy ex-girlfriend, you know? It’s been over a year. Get over it. But I don’t know. I guess when you get paid over $100 million by one team, it’s kind of easy to point the finger at another guy and hate on him for trying to get another contract.”

Hillis said he’s just trying to move on and that he doesn’t have regrets.

Thomas said Hillis created a “toxic” environment last season. He described Hillis as being a great teammate when he became a breakout star in 2010, but the exact opposite last year.

Hillis likely has learned his lesson, but it’s really sad it took all that for him to realize his mistakes. He also shouldn’t have called Thomas a name for pointing out the truth. He should have just admitted he was wrong.

Joe Thomas Believes Browns Are Going to Win a Championship

Joe Thomas signed a seven-year $84 million contract extension with the Browns Monday, a move that will likely keep him in Cleveland most of his career. Since being drafted in 2007, he has made the Pro Bowl every year and has been named All-Pro twice. He has never missed a game, and perhaps more impressively, has not even missed a practice according to Rotoworld. The fans in Cleveland must love him because of his ability and work ethic, but they should also be enamored with him because of his optimism.

Though the Browns have gone 14-34 the last three seasons, Thomas says he signed with the team long-term because he believes they are going to win a Super Bowl. “I know a championship is coming to Cleveland and I have to be a part of it,” Thomas told The Plain Dealer. “That’s everything. That’s why I wanted to do a long-term deal. Five years ago when I started this thing, that was my top goal on my list was to bring a championship here and I see the huge strides we’ve made.

“Sometimes we’ve had to take one step back to take steps forward, but I see the direction this thing is headed and I want to be part of the championship.”

That’s an awfully bold statement by Thomas. Typically I support players who believe in themselves and their team, but I can’t applaud this move. Thomas is a fantastic player and his ideals are admirable. But just like I’d recommend a player on the Bengals leave Cincinnati as soon as possible, a Browns player who wants to win a championship has his best chance elsewhere. Again, he’s saying all the right things that will endear him to the Browns fans, I just disagree with his belief.

Helmet knock to Cleveland Frowns for the story

Screw New York, Joe Thomas Is Going Fishing

You know how on draft day, there are constant shots to the green room where the humble former collegians are awaiting the moment that will change their live for the future? All the players are gathered so when their name is finally called, they can proudly prance across the stage, pose alongside the commissioner, jersey in hand, cap atop the head, and break open a lovely smile. It is at that very moment that the man makes a transformation from draft prospect to future cornerstone of an NFL franchise.

Why all the sentiments and the poetic waxing you ask? Well, because Joe Thomas has made it very clear that he will not be present in New York City for the 2007 NFL Draft. He will not be there to crack the proud smile alongside the commissioner when his name is called — be it early like a Robert Gallery before him — or embarrassingly late like Aaron Rodgers a few years ago. Instead, as Adam Schefter reports, Joe Thomas will be gone fishing:

Despite a personal e-mail from commissioner Roger Goodell, Thomas rejected the NFL’s repeated written and verbal invitations to attend the draft-week festivities in New York.

Thomas wants to maintain a years-old tradition in which he spends draft day fishing for coho salmon on Lake Michigan with his dad.

That’s so sweet. Sentimental. Wholesome. Refreshing. A good family man, spending good quality time with his pops.

Unfortunately, Thomas isn’t as wholesome as his actions would make you believe. He has endorsement deals with companies such as Under Armour who I’m sure is not happy about Thomas’ planned absence on the biggest day of a draftee’s life — in front of millions of viewers no less.

I guess in the end this whole deal won’t even matter by the time Thomas is in training camp. But for now, I’m sure he’s upset several sponsors, and we already know the commish ain’t happy about it. Hey Joe, don’t be surprised if you get flagged for a couple of extra holding calls this year buddy.