CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas thanked many people in his induction speech Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
He played in over 10,000 consecutive snaps for the Browns, never made the playoffs, and blocked for several quarterbacks in his career, the Associated Press reported.
“To my quarterbacks, all 20 of them,” said Thomas. “Yes, I blocked for more different starting quarterbacks than any player in NFL history. What an honor.”
Dozens of Thomas’ former teammates returned to Northeast Ohio to celebrate with him, according to the Associated Press.
“Thank you for always showing up for me,” he said Saturday. “Thank you for giving me the ability to always count on you guys.”
Thomas unveiled his Hall of Fame bust with his wife Annie by his side Saturday afternoon in Canton.
He played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns.
Thomas’ playing streak ended in 2017 when he tore his triceps during Cleveland’s 0-16 season. He thanked his father for showing him the value of hard work and loyalty, according to the AP.
“I remember you strapping cross-country skis on your feet and going to work in a blizzard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” he recalled. “At the time, I didn’t really know what the quote ‘availability is the most important ability’ meant, but that’s exactly what it meant to you and those were the values that I learned from you, buddy.”
Thomas also thanked Browns’ fans for their loyalty, especially despite double-digit loss seasons.
“Even if we were losing, you guys were there on Sundays barking in the Dawg Pound,” he said. “You guys are the heartbeat of the Cleveland Browns, and it was truly my honor to be able to represent you on and off the field for 11 seasons.”
Thomas is one of nine new members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
©2023 Cox Media Group