BEREA, Ohio-- Cleveland's elder statesman approves of two of the team's most notable offseason additions.
After yet another regime change in Berea, Joe Thomas had a bit of a difficult time comparing Hue Jackson to the many coaches that have come in and out of Cleveland over the years, but he's certain that he's a fan of the new face of the Browns.
"It's always difficult to compare and contrast the coaches because I can't remember all of them in 10 years," Thomas said. "One thing I think all of the players have been drawn to Hue with has been his passion and his attention to detail."
While the passion is the most attractive part of Jackson to Thomas, the Pro Bowler likes too that he has a "hands on" approach.
Jackson doesn't like to let his assistant coaches do all of the teaching. In fact, according to Thomas, he can't stand to sit back and watch.
"It was kind of funny this spring, Pep (Hamilton) was up there doing the installing the first day and you could see Hue in the back of the room during the offensive install meeting kind of fidgeting in his seat," Thomas said. "He had a hard time not being in front of the room and by the next day he was the guy who was up there doing the installing and that's just how he in on offense. He's going to be directly coaching the quarterbacks, the offensive line, the receivers on every single play and if it's not up to his standard, we're going to do it again. I think that's a great thing."
Thomas may like his new coach, but he's just as excited to bring back a familiar face.
Though Josh Gordon has had plenty of issues off the field, Thomas is more than willing to welcome him back to Berea for a number of reasons.
"He’s a very, very introspective, intelligent focused person that maybe that doesn’t get shown too much in social media and media circles and if he’s truly kind of changed his life and he’s ready to commit to football, the sky’s the limit for the guy," Thomas said. "He’s got everything you need from a football standpoint, obviously athletically but intelligence-wise he’s an extremely bright football player. I think he can definitely help this team.
Aware of the discrepancies between Gordon's words and his actions over the past few seasons, Thomas believes in the receiver's ability to truly change for the better.
Until Gordon does something to prove that he's back to his old tricks, Thomas is going to give the former Pro Bowler his full support.
"All we can do as teammates of Josh is give him the benefit of the doubt, listen to what he said, and just react to what we see," Thomas said. "If he’s out here busting his butt, doing the right things and doing the right things off the field that’s keeping him out of trouble, we’ve got to give him the benefit of the doubt because he can be such a great player for us and he’s saying and doing all the right things right now, and until something changes, there’s no reason to treat him any differently than anybody else in the locker room."
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove