Less than 24 hours after agreeing to a seven-year, $84 million contract extension, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas says he is excited to be a Brown for the long term.
Here is what else he had to say Tuesday after practice:
(On his contract extension and wanting to be on a winning team)- "Being on a winning team is obviously extremely important for me. The things that I have seen here in the last couple years, the type of coaches that we are bringing in here, the type of players we are bringing in, the staff that we put together, it's really exciting for me to see the direction that this franchise is headed. That was the main reason that I wanted to stay here, that I wanted to sign a long term extension and continue to work on this journey."
(On if signing a long term deal sends a message to the other guys on team)- "I think so. I think the type of guys that Tom Heckert's drafting and bringing in here. He's putting together a great franchise with really good people. It's something I really wanted to be a part of and I know other people will want to be a part of. As we are winning more games here going forward, it's going to be a fun thing to be part of. That was a big reason why I decided that I wanted to sign a long term deal."
(On if there was a time where he questioned if he wanted to be here long term)- "Certainly, a couple years ago. There were a lot of questions about the future of this franchise, a lot of in-stability not only in front office, the coaching staff and players. I think right now the vision that everybody has, the way that everybody is on the same page, we are all rowing the boat the same direction. There is nothing but success in the future here and I wouldn't have stayed here if I didn't see those things moving forward."
(On if he could have turned down the money that was on the table to him)-"No question, to me it's all about winning and that's why I wanted stay here. I could of tried to go to free agency, but I really wanted to be here because I love being in Cleveland and I love this organization from the day I walked out here. Even more importantly I feel this going to be a heck of a franchise here going forward. With the things I have seen here in the first couple years since coach Holmgren has been here and since he's started to put things together. I want to be part of it. I don't want to go anywhere else."
(On the direction of the offense)- "I think it's awesome. We have only been together for four weeks, not even what a normal off season would be and I am already seeing great strides. The players that we've got on offense are young, but you can see their potential. The way Colt (McCoy) has been playing, the way he leads this offense. It's just exciting to be around."
(On having more of an aggressive mentality offensively this year)- "Certainly, we are not conservative game plan wise. We are going to throw the ball. We are going to attack that defense and the things that Coach Shurmur has brought in, his philosophy is very offensive minded. It's very exciting to be part of and I really like having an offensive head coach and that's another reason why I wanted to be here because I think Coach Shurmur is an awesome person. I think he is a great coach. He is a hands on coach and that's something I haven't had because we have had defensive coaches here. To have him in every game plan meeting running the offensive strategy meetings, that's fun. It's fun to be around."
(On feeling a greater responsibility toward helping the younger guys)- "I have always felt kind of a leadership role over the last few years here on offense. That's only going to continue and grow as I get older and as the players seem to get younger. That's the way it's going to be moving forward. I kind of relish in that challenge because now I am not only talking to the young offensive linemen, I am talking to the younger receivers, young tight ends, guys we have trying to impart any wisdom I have on them and try to do everything I can to help them get better so that we can win as an offense and as a team."
(On if the red zone is his zone)- "I feel like it should be. That's kind of one of my roles here. I need to take advantage of the time we have in the red zone and I think Colt (McCoy) trusts me as well. If he throws it up there I have to make a play. That's kind of my role, so it should be."
(On McCoy having confidence in the tight ends)- "We are bigger bodies and I think he realizes that. He knows he can put it places where we can use our bodies to make plays. It's a mismatch and I am happy he takes advantage of it."
(On Joe Thomas not making a big deal about his extension)- "It's typical Joe. Joe is the ultimate professional in my eyes. As a tight end, I try to use him as well for some blocking techniques and all that and he is more willingly to help me out. Joe is just so consistent. I don't think he has even missed a practice let alone a game. He is always out here working on his body in the weight room and working on staying healthy. Now you see him get rewarded like that and, to me, he just really sets the example of this is how you do it. He is just a steady presence and I am not surprised in the least bit that they wanted him here for the next seven years."