Cleveland Browns: Joe Thomas highlights systematic problem
Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas made a joke that highlights just how disorganized the Browns have been as an organization.
The Cleveland Browns began training camp Friday afternoon and for the first time in a long time, the team is not in the spotlight.
With the NBA Championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the first-place baseball being played by the Cleveland Indians, the Browns enter training camp as the worst team in town. That can change this season, but this year is a rebuilding year so the chances are slim.
The team’s last season over the .500 mark came in 2007, which also happened to be Joe Thomas‘ rookie season. His head coach that year was Romeo Crennel, but he only lasted until 2008.
Thomas enters 2016 with Hue Jackson as his head coach, making him the sixth head coach Thomas has played under as he enters his tenth season in the league. That is a staggering statistic, and one Thomas brought up when speaking to the media in Berea.
While Thomas is making a joke, it may be hard for him to pinpoint who the head coach was during specific games if asked. This highlights just how disorganized the Browns have been as a franchise not only since Thomas entered the league in 2007, but since the team’s return to Cleveland in 1999.
To put the number in perspective, the Browns have been a franchise since 1946. There were a total of ten head coaches from 1946-1995, with two of the ten serving an interim head coaches for a combined total of eight games. There have been nine since 1999, with only one serving in the interim role.
The fact Thomas has emerged as one of the greatest Browns in franchise history is nearly unbelievable when seeing the mess he has been a part of since debuting in 2007. His legend will grow greater once he retires because of his consistency among so much turnover, but he may decide to finish his career elsewhere if Hue Jackson is not the coach heading into the 2019 season, when Thomas is a free agent.
For the Browns to gain respect as an organization, this current group in charge must remain in charge for at least four years. Starting over every two years is not viable in any business, let alone one that sees organizations thrive when given a strong foundation and little turnover.
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Thomas highlighted just how bad the situation has been, so it is up to Jimmy Haslam to understand this and stick with the current group he just hired in January. If more firings are to come, it could doom the future of the franchise.