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Joe Thomas: We won’t get better if Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz leave

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 09:  Mitchell Schwartz #72 of the Cleveland Browns looks to the sidelines during the preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 9, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Browns 13-12 in a preseason game.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

Since the end of the regular season, he Browns have made major changes to the front office and coaching staff and those changes have led to a shift in thinking about left tackle Joe Thomas.

Thomas was nearly traded to the Broncos before the trading deadline, but remained in Cleveland and the new administration says there are no plans to deal Thomas this offseason. Thomas knows the right offer could change that thought, but plans to be in Cleveland and knows that he’d like to continue playing with center Alex Mack and right tackle Mitchell Schwarts.

Mack can opt out of his deal and Schwartz is set for unrestricted free agency, leading Thomas to say that losing them would mean a step back for Cleveland as a team.

“I understand from a business standpoint they need to move on if they get a better offer somewhere else. I certainly would understand it, but I definitely hope that they’re back,” Thomas said, via Cleveland.com. “I don’t know what the Browns’ perspective is on it. I feel like we have a lot of salary cap space to spend on it. … We have the best right tackle and the best center in the NFL and I’d certainly like to keep those guys. You’re not going to make your team better by getting a worse player at those positions.”

The flip side of that is that the Browns haven’t gotten any better by having the trio on their offensive line, so they might opt to try something different in roster construction as they have in putting together their new personnel department. Whatever their intentions, Mack and Schwartz should have plenty of other interest should they hit the open market next month.

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28 Responses to “Joe Thomas: We won’t get better if Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz leave”
  1. drfeelyouup says: Feb 14, 2016 7:46 AM

    If all three of those guys are so damn good, then why did the running backs look like trash?

  2. lennydpocketqb says: Feb 14, 2016 7:55 AM

    He could have been a super bowl champion. Poor guy is going to be forgotten the second he retired. He’s too good of a player for that to happen. The Cleveland Browns should be disolved.

  3. dirtydawg44 says: Feb 14, 2016 8:23 AM

    Mack certainly wont command the big money he was destined for, before his leg injury. He was only average last year. As far as Schwartz goes, he couldn’t block my grandmother. His nickname should be toast!

  4. beckzhere says: Feb 14, 2016 9:08 AM

    Doesn’t matter how good your line is if you don’t have a competent QB

  5. heymister24 says: Feb 14, 2016 9:27 AM

    The browns lamebrain trust will trade Thomas and gather draft picks to throw at a dart board. The group think clique will soon sink to their level of competence.

  6. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Feb 14, 2016 9:40 AM

    This guy sure loves to talk.

  7. macbull says: Feb 14, 2016 10:04 AM

    If the Browns want to draft a franchise QB then decide they don’t need the best OLineman to protect the kid QB…

    …that scenario brings back visions of Time Couch running for his life as a rookie, behind a make shift OLine.

    If any team should know how important it is to put a young QB behind the best OLine they can…it should be the Browns.

    The Browns keep saying they want to build their team via the draft…well, re-signing the players you drafted 4 or 5 yrs ago is part of that process of “building your team via the draft.”

    Use the cap space to sign your own, such as Swartz..that is the smartest use of the cap space…plus our rookie QB will appreciate playing behind a top shelf OLine.

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 14, 2016 10:24 AM

    You might as well say the Browns won’t get better with the current ownership.

    Haslam is a con man who stole millions of dollars from his PilotFlyingJ customers. Probably used some of that stolen money to buy the team.

    His only concern is to give the fans just enough lip service to keep the money machine rolling. He cares nothing about winning a championship. Only the dollars he can con from the fans like he did his trucking customers.

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 14, 2016 10:49 AM

    Let’s Keep It Real: joe thomas talks like a leader whenever the regime changes… but… is never heard from when times are tough.

    Seriously… it’s like joe thomas only talks to attempt to project an image of leadership to impress the new coach.

    Then… when the season starts… his leadership quietly fades away.

    Cleveland has averaged 5 wins per season under his “leadership”.

  10. floridaraven says: Feb 14, 2016 11:10 AM

    My hat is off to Thomas. How he can remain positive is either a testament to his heart or to the idea that he is delusional. I’m going with the former.

  11. ezmoover says: Feb 14, 2016 11:17 AM

    You can have All Pros all across the line and it still won’t mean jack if you don’t have a QB.

    Here’s a wild guess. Cleveland should use the #2 pick to select the best QB in the draft.

    Then they might actually look like a football team.

  12. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 14, 2016 11:29 AM

    Anyone who thinks a TOP 5 QB changes anything is delusional and/or misinformed.

    When Tim Couch was drafted #1… the Browns had no wide receivers, no offensive linemen, and no running backs of any value.

    56 sacks in his first season when attempting to throw to faux-#1 wr journeyman Kevin Johnson, nobody Darrin Chiaverini, undrafted nobody Leslie Shepherd, and nobody TE Irv Smith.

    A quarterback needs quality depth in the receiving corps in this modern pass happy NFL.

  13. boothisman says: Feb 14, 2016 11:42 AM

    ezmoover says:

    Here’s a wild guess. Cleveland should use the #2 pick to select the best QB in the draft.

    Then they might actually look like a football team.

    ————————————————————

    Ummmm, that’s what Cleveland does just about every year and they have yet to look like a real team.

  14. stealthscorpio says: Feb 14, 2016 11:42 AM

    Joe Thomas needs to shut his pie hole! The Oracle of Ohio is a loser.

  15. toybkshr says: Feb 14, 2016 11:44 AM

    @ dirtydawg44 says:
    Feb 14, 2016 8:23 AM
    Mack certainly wont command the big money he was destined for, before his leg injury. He was only average last year. As far as Schwartz goes, he couldn’t block my grandmother. His nickname should be toast! ———————————————————————————–
    Or maybe Matador!

  16. badmoonrison says: Feb 14, 2016 12:40 PM

    I think the Browns are headed in the right direction by hiring Hue. He knows that division well and had success in Cincy which aint easy to do. And he’s a darn good coach and had the my Raiders rebuilding before getting unfairly fired. Had he had another year or two we might be further along than we are now. Luckily the Browns were smart enough to cut their losses with the cokehead kid. He is just too immature to be in the NFL. I have to say this is one of those few years the Browns have reasons to be optimistic.

  17. tndiver says: Feb 14, 2016 12:44 PM

    Yeah remember how at the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about how great our O-line was? How did that work out for us? That, and the defense (which was also highly touted) was probably the biggest disappointment, especially in the running game. I think we need to keep Mack, but I think we can find a better RT and RG.

  18. steelerfan63 says: Feb 14, 2016 12:54 PM

    Overrated Joe has been the topic of many stories on here lately. I think it is a prelude to his ”I want traded or else” speech to owners. This guy couldn’t block my Grandma. The only reason he keeps getting to the Pro Bowl is the NFL’s way of trying to keep Cleveland somewhat relevant.

  19. suhmonster90 says: Feb 14, 2016 12:57 PM

    The Browns line has been very overrated for years. Josh McCown actually did look like a credible starting QB for them and it was the line that got him smashed, even after the old man proved surprisingly mobile. The Browns problem on offense last year was inability to run the ball at all so the line really shouldn’t be tooting their own horn right now. I say buyer beware on Mack and Schwartz.

  20. concretejimmy52 says: Feb 14, 2016 2:18 PM

    If Haslam let’s Hue Jackson do his job the Browns might actually see some progress in a few years. I think they have some talented players and can add more including a QB. Bengals loss should be Browns gain. Bengals offense and Dalton were better with Hue and actually should have won some playoff games instead of being a pretender. He got a lousy Raiders offense to look decent and finish 8-8 before getting canned because of new management. He also had Joe Flacco looking decent and helped the Ravens make the playoffs in his rookie season and beyond in spite of Cam Cameron at OC. Coming from a Ravens fan, I thought it was comical watching Farmer fumbling around in the draft after The Jags took Bortles off the board. Watching Browns fans being optimistic after drafting Manziel was comical to say the least. I actually thought the Browns had a good draft last year. All the talent in the world means squat without coaching. Ravens were fortunate enough to get Trestman after Kubiak departed. No surprise the Broncos and Manning won a SB with a make shift OL. I actually think Browns fans finally have something to look forward to. Going to be interesting seeing this year’s draft and what the Browns do with their pick. Draft a QB? Maybe let McCown play or trade for a younger one and use the pick on a player like Joey Bosa? If the Titans draft Tunsil to protect Mariotta. I was wondering if the Browns would move up last year to get Mariotta. But I think the Titans asking price was too much. I say the best thing you can do for your franchise QB is put a defense around him. Ravens have never had luck at drafting a WR early. I don’t see Bosa falling to #6 like Leonard Williams did to the Jets. But I’m hoping the Ravens draft a stud LB or CB. Jalen Ramsey might be better than Marcus Peters and he won DROY. Nice seeing a CB prospect rated that high. I’m expecting the Ravens to sweep the Steelers again and make the playoffs. I hope the loss of Hue Jackson stuns the Bengals. No way the Ravens have the bad luck and certainly not the horrible schedule again this coming season. Good Luck!

  21. oldcracker says: Feb 14, 2016 4:59 PM

    The Browns can’t seem to fill the holes they already got, they sure don’t need to create new ones.

    “RESIGN the O-line,” develop a decent QB, a WR taller than 5’7″ (yes, I know Gordon will be back), and get an ILB who can help stop the run. (I believe the OLB’s can get the pressure on the QB’s now that Pettine and O’Neil are finally gone and Ray Horton is back.)

  22. kwjsb says: Feb 14, 2016 5:16 PM

    For all these posts about if these guys are so good why can’t they run?

    If you have no QB and no #1 receiver the “D” loads the box because they no you cannot pass.

  23. blakeden says: Feb 14, 2016 7:14 PM

    Joe Thomas Joe Thomas who is he? the self appointed spokes person of the Browns…He sure seems to be quoted a lot

  24. pjschre76 says: Feb 15, 2016 8:46 AM

    Drfeelyouup says, “If all three of those guys are so damn good, then why did the runn6ng backs look like trash”?…….

    That speaks more to the skill, or lack thereof, than to the quality of the offensive line. How much better was T. Richardson after he left the Browns? In fact, name a runnung back that got better by going elsewhere. The fact is that the Browns have had a problembat the running back position, and it isn, t due to the lack of ability and effort of the O line.

  25. tralfaz1127 says: Feb 15, 2016 10:13 AM

    Badmmonrison, Bengals were a playoff team 2 straight years and 3 out of 4 before Hue got there. He didn’t have a dynamic effect. He is a good leader, but look at the offensive stats with all the talent Cincy had. Finished right in the middle of the pack both years.
    Rest of u are right Thomas talks a good game, produces 4/5 wins a year and the awesome Mack & Schwartz lead an offense that dominates no one in the trenches.

  26. stoolerz says: Feb 15, 2016 11:30 AM

    Dion Lewis

  27. denverdude7 says: Feb 15, 2016 3:39 PM

    I pity the poor kid the Browns draft as their next franchise QB.

    He will be doomed to failure and a short career.

  28. root4cleveland says: Feb 18, 2016 8:33 AM

    Fact: The Browns have (3) pro-bowl linement who are not named Mitchel Schwarts. He is definitely not the best RT in the game, but good on Joe to stand up for his teammate.

    Fact: The Browns have had these three, plus Mitchel Schwarts for the past two years.

    Fact: The Brown’s offensive line played terrible this past year. Pass protection was “OK” but run blocking was atrocious. The proof is in the pudding.

    No way to defend this as a great O-line. Perhaps the sum is less than the value of the collective parts, because I definitly think they’re all quality players, but they apparently don’t play well as a unit.

    Caveat to my statement: their position coach was fired right before the start of the season. The Brown’s need a good offensive line, not necessarily 5 great offensive linemen. Most people can’t name more than (2) linemen from any one team.

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