When Joe Thomas speaks, players should listen.
It’s simple as that. Thomas, a former Cleveland Brown, and future Hall of Famer is onto post-football life.
Now he’s a media member (of sorts) with podcast, radio, and television appearances.
The Thom and Hawk Show he does with Andrew Hawkins has a sizeable following.
The point is that he knows what he’s talking about.
That’s why Jedrick Wills would be wise to follow recent advice given to him by Thomas.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Thomas’ biggest piece of advice to Wills is simple: just be consistent.
Joe knows being an NFL offensive lineman requires you to be on top of your game practically all the time.
If not, even for just one snap, people notice.
“Yeah, he’s been up and down. The inconsistency has been the thing that’s held him back… You gotta think of the offensive line position like you’re a secret service bodyguard. You have to be right 100% of the time every time you wake up and walk onto that practice field”, said Thomas to reporters. “Being right 99 out of 100… nobody’s gonna care if on snap 100 you go the wrong way, or you take a bad step, and the guy spins right through your gap and slices the quarterback in half… that’s what they remember about your position. The good stuff is great, but don’t mess up.”
Those are words of conviction from a guy who understands life as an offensive lineman better than almost anyone.
He’s not wrong either. An offensive tackle doing his job to a tee on a random snap isn’t getting anyone off the couch in excitement.
Giving up a huge sack and getting the quarterback hurt, however, is enough to have some throwing their TV remotes (among other things).
It’s also enough to have coaches second-guessing personnel.
This is what Thomas is trying to emphasize to Wills.
Even the best of Sunday afternoons can be completely erased with one mishap.
That’s a tall order for lineman, but one Wills needs to fulfill if he wants to raise his game up a notch.
Plays like this are ones he needs to avoid moving forward.
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) January 4, 2022
The Next Level
So how does Wills become consistent?
According to Thomas, look no further than former Browns kicker Phil Dawson’s way of preparing for kicks.
“I think about Phil Dawson, the great kicker for the Browns that I played with, and how obsessed he was with the minutia of everything he did to prepare for a kick. That allowed him to be consistent”.
If that doesn’t resonate with Wills, perhaps a tie to another sport will help.
“It’s just like a golfer… The way that they look at all the tiny little things as they’re preparing to hit the ball, those are the important things that allow them to hit the ball consistently every time”.
Anyone that’s golfed knows being consistent on a course is easier said than done.
Of course, the same goes for an offensive lineman that must deal with goliath defensive lineman trying to rip the quarterback in half.
Wills has shown he can hang with the best pass rushers in the league.
Now it’s just about keeping the bad tape to a minimum.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) October 13, 2020
“I’m very confident he has it in him, and that Bill Callahan will get it out of him in the future. He shows all of the talent of an All-Pro tackle, it’s just about reducing the negative plays”.