“You next, Joe! You next!” Ah, yes. The classic line from Rocky with Apollo Creed speaking to legit boxing legend Joe Frazier in the ring before his fight with Balboa.

Well, it’s official…just on the NFL Football side of things as legendary Hall of Famer Joe Thomas just got elected amongst the 2023 class. Thomas was drafted in 2007 out of Wisconsin as the third pick by the Cleveland Browns as a left tackle.

The man is known for a lot of things, but most notably playing 10,363 consecutive snaps in a row as a Cleveland Brown. There have been a lot of feats accomplished as of late such as LeBron James passing the all-time scoring record in the NBA. However, this one if a person really thinks about it is insane. The amount of durability it truly takes someone to play that long is incredible.

This via the Cleveland Browns: Throughout an 11-year career with the Browns, Joe Thomas carved a resume few offensive tackles in the history of the sport have ever been able to produce: 10 Pro Bowls, 6 first-team All-Pro selections. Across his 6,680 pass-block snaps, Thomas allowed only 30 sacks across his career, according to Pro Football Focus. That meant an opposing edge rusher had a just .004 percent chance of sacking the quarterback in a one-on-one battle against him.

Those numbers are absolutely astounding. It’s just a shame that Thomas didn’t get to participate in more winning because his career percentage was 33.9% (87-170-1).

Here is the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 as a whole: Offensive tackle Joe Thomas, linebacker Zach Thomas, linebacker DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Darrelle Revis, cornerback Rondé Barber, coach Don Coryell (deceased), linebacker Chuck Howley, defensive lineman Joe Klecko and cornerback Ken Riley (deceased).

Thomas did not get the opportunity to play in a playoff game. This goes with the theory of how football is truly a team sport and even though Thomas was great for the Browns for many years at his position of LT, well it really didn’t matter for the Browns as a whole.

Moving forward, one has to respect that Thomas’ desire to play in Cleveland never waivered and he didn’t “take has talents” anywhere else throughout his entire career.

A true Brown for life.

Once again, congratulations Joe on such a successful career. You will truly never be forgotten here in the Cleveland area and beyond. We wish you the best in your future ventures and hope to continue to see you in these parts as the years go on.

 

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