Joe Thomas: Conference Call Transcript

The text of the new Brown's conference call with the Cleveland media. Provided by the Cleveland Browns.

(Opening Statement)- "I'm incredibly thrilled to be picked by the Cleveland Browns right now. I'm excited about starting a new life in the beautiful city of Cleveland. I want to help the Browns get back to the winning tradition of old."

(On the fishing)- "The fishing was slow. We caught a couple of fish, but the water was fantastic. It was a great way to keep my mind off of what was going on in the draft."

(On being surprised by being selected by the Browns)- "No, it didn't surprise me. I hoped that Cleveland would pick me after I met the personnel and the coaches. They really had shown a lot of interest along the way and I knew it would be a good fit for me."

(On why Cleveland is a good fit for him)- "I grew up in Milwaukee and I see Milwaukee and Cleveland as similar towns. I'm looking forward to the people and the town. I loved the coaches, the staff and the facility. I felt like I was right at home, just as I feel when I'm back home in Milwaukee. I met a couple of guys on the team and they seem like great people. They were all focused on bringing this team back to glory."

(On playing at a high level from day one)- "I'm very convinced I can do that. My goal this offseason was to be prepared from day one, to be a starter and be an impact player. That's the way I approached the NFL combine, my pro day and the NFL Draft. I wasn't worried about where I was going to go, but I want to be prepared so I can help my team win games. That's why I feel like I'll be prepared from day one."

(On the tackle position)- "If you look at the tackle position, it's been the safest pick in the top ten. You talking about a good possibility of a top five tackle being a Pro Bowl player. He's going to be a guy who could potentially go to the Hall of Fame. If you are going to get a Pro Bowl tackle, you have to get him in the top five. I feel like there might have been a couple of guys in the past five or six years who haven't panned out, but I think I'm a vastly different person. My attitude and competitiveness will not let me fail."

(On the left side of the offensive line)- "I'm really excited. A couple of weeks after I visited Cleveland, I sat down in my head coach's office and asked him about (Eric) Steinbach. He said he was a great person, a phenomenal athlete and a great player. He's the type of player who I would get along with and play well next to. I was really excited about that."

(On where he is fishing)- "We're fishing on Lake Michigan out of Port Washington, Wisconsin, which is north of Milwaukee. The morning has been a little slow, but we hooked a big one as we are pulling into shore."

(On Robert Gallery)- "I think Robert is getting a lot of heat that's not due to him. He's in a very tough situation right now and has had three different coaches in his first three years. He hasn't been getting consistent coaching taught to him and as a tackle, that's huge. It's important to have the proper technique and the confidence behind that technique. Robert and I do have different games and I feel I have a much more polished technique. I feel like I'm more ready to start from day one."

(On having any regrets that he's not in New York with the rest of the top draft picks)- "Not at all. I'm going to be in Cleveland this afternoon to meet with the media. I wanted to be with my family this morning because they are helping take some of the pressure and nervousness off me. They did an excellent job of that and I've been very relaxed this entire morning. We had an inkling that Cleveland would draft me and I was really hoping they would. It was hard for me to hide my excitement. It ended up coming through and I'm excited to come to Cleveland tonight to meet more of the people, the media and to start my life."

(On the importance of signing early and getting off to a good start)- "I think it's important. As an offensive lineman, you want to get in there and learn the system. You want to get to know to the coaches and the guys you are going to play next to. For me, I think I have a jump start already because a lot of the offensive style in Cleveland is similar to what I was doing in college. I think a lot of our coaching points and calls were the same on the offensive line. I think I have a jump start already, but it's important for me to obtain my goal and start right away. I want to get into camp on time and get the deal done."

(On his previous injury)- "I don't have any problems with it. I felt 100 percent playing with the injury in the second half of the year. I feel better than I did the year before and the knee injury will not affect me at all. It's not even a thought in my mind at this point."

(On who is on the boat with him)- "It's my dad, my father-in-law to be, my mentor Joe Panos, the NFL Network camera and myself."

(On reeling in a fish)- "Yeah, we just got the biggest fish of the day. It looks like it's a brown trout."

(On the Browns not selecting an offensive lineman early in the draft for a long time)- "It does surprise me a little bit because Cleveland is a blue-collar city who likes their offensive linemen. That's the type of city that likes offensive line type of play. I'm happy with the fact I'm going to be part of the Cleveland Browns family."

(On handling taking over a job from a veteran)- "I'm waiting to see what the coaches are going to do with me when I get there. I've been preparing this offseason to make a position switch if I have to. If they do put me on the left side and they do something with Kevin Shaffer, it might be a difficult thing, but it's something that we can work through."

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