The real problem with Thomas’ comments came when he described his role on the team. He added, “For me it’s about trying to do my job to the best of my ability. And do everything I can to help our team win.” On the surface this seems innocent enough. He is doing everything he can as an individual to do his job and help his team win.
The problem comes with leadership. Joe Thomas is the leader of the offensive line room. In this interview, he does not give the impression that he is trying to rally the troops and fight to work through the problems. Instead, he comes across as aloof and above the issue.
As the reader, you can fault me for this take on his interview. However, my position is consistent with what I have witnessed over the past two years (to set an arbitrary limit).
Last season Arthur Moats beat Alex Mack and almost ripped Johnny Manziel’s head off. How did the offensive line react? Nothing. They did nothing to protect their quarterback. There was no fire in the offensive line to protect their quarterback. They simply seemed to be here to do their job, collect their paycheck and go home.
Everyone has seen the vicious hits quarterbacks have taken this season. How does the leader of the offensive line, the leader of the entire offense react? He decides to point out that the front office let his buddies leave and now they have to “lie in the bed” they have made.
Where is the fire? Where is the leader calling out his teammates to protect the quarterback? Where is an offensive line that fights with an attitude and anger that says, “not on my watch!”? Sadly, that leader does not exist within the offensive line room.