Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas continues to be rewarded for his excellence, this time picking up a pair of awards from Pro Football Focus.
Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas earned multiple honors on Thursday in being named the NFL’s best pass protector and best offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus.
The latest acknowledgement of Thomas’ awesomeness comes less than a week after he was named to the Associated Press All-Pro team for the eighth time in his nine seasons with the Browns.
Related: Joe Thomas earns 8th All-Pro nod
The annual Anthony Muñoz Award from Pro Football Focus goes to the offensive lineman that the site determines in the best pass protector in the league.
"Joe Thomas is something of an NFL legend. Week after week Thomas sees the best of the best in terms of NFL pass rushers from his left tackle position. He plays for a Browns team that has gone 47-97 in his nine-year career for the team and he has played in zero playoff games. Yet he hasn’t missed a single snap. That’s 9,565 straight snaps that Thomas has played, taking none off for rest, injury, or anything else. Yet he’s showing no signs of slowing down."
"This season was yet another fine one by Thomas, to the surprise of nobody. Thomas finished as PFF’s highest graded tackle at 94.3 overall, and was the number one pass blocker with a 93.6 grade. He blocked on 705 passing plays, the most among all tackles. Despite protecting quarterbacks that averaged 2.80 seconds to throw, far above the league-average of 2.64 seconds, Thomas allowed just two sacks, one hit and 21 hurries. His Pass Blocking Efficiency of 97.4 was the best among all tackles. He also had six full games in which he didn’t allow a single pressure."
"Joe Thomas continues to be one of the most dominant left tackles in the league, especially when pass protecting. This season was no exception, as he dominated week in and week out. He is absolutely deserving of being named this year’s Anthony Muñoz Award winner for best pass blocking offensive lineman."
The site’s annual Bruce Matthews Award goes to the league’s best overall offensive lineman.
"This year, the brief monopoly on the Bruce Matthews Award for guards is broken by Joe Thomas, who earned the second highest single-season grade of his career in 2015, even though some Browns fan seem to wrongly believe Thomas is not among the league’s elite offensive linemen anymore."
"All Thomas did this season was lead OTs in pass blocking efficiency, surrendering just 24 pressures on a league-high (tied with teammate Mitchell Schwartz) 705 snaps in pass protection. That earned Thomas the highest grade (93.6) of any offensive tackle in pass protection, and his run blocking was strong for a third year in a row, following a brief lull in 2011 and 2012."
"Thomas may not be at his 2009 top form anymore, but he’s still nothing short of the best offensive tackle to play in the last decade. A 3-13 record for Cleveland doesn’t diminish Thomas’ play this year, as he earns his first Bruce Matthews Award."
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
It’s interesting that Thomas earned an award as the league’s best pass blocker during a season where the Browns surrendered the second-most sacks in the league (53), a stat that led the less-savvy among Browns fans to spend the season claiming that Thomas is either “over-rated” or “slipping” in his production.
But as PFF points out, Cleveland quarterbacks Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis held onto the ball “far above the league average,” which obviously is a big indicator of why they took so many sacks.
It is also another in a long list of reasons why head coach Hue Jackson and the front office duo of Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta need to get to work on convincing Thomas that the Browns are finally heading in the right direction. (As well as fellow linemates Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz.)
Meeting with Thomas to share his vision for the Browns was a topic of Jackson’s introductory press conference.
“Joe Thomas, is one of the best left tackles in this league, bar none,” Jackson said. ” He has been one of the cornerstones of this organization and this football team. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to talk to him and give him our plan, and hopefully, I believe in my heart, that he is going to get excited about what we are trying to accomplish.”
There is no doubt that having Thomas line up at left tackle when the 2016 NFL season opens in September would go along way toward helping Jackson accomplish his goals for the Browns.