By: Will Burge
Blowback from Thomas’ comments – When Joe Thomas took a flamethrower to Peyton Hillis yesterday it certainly raised some eyebrows. Hillis fired back today.
According to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star, Hillis said Thomas is like a “crazy ex-girlfriend.” He also said, “It's been over a year. Get over it. I guess when you get paid over 100 million dollars by one team it's kind of easy to point the finger at other guys and try to hate on them for trying to get another contract.”
Most players in the Browns’ locker room, however, are not concerned about any extra motivation for Hillis and the Cheifs.
“I’ve been playing on motivation my whole career and no one incident has motivated me more than another so I think that’s a bunch of bologna,” said Sheldon Brown. I then asked if that idea is overblown and he responded, “Most definitely, yes.”
As for Coach Pat Shurmur, he said yesterday that he didn’t want to talk about 2011 Hillis. Today, he was forced to respond to his players’ comment about 2011 Hillis.
“I’d prefer my players say nothing, but I realize that that’s not the case,” said Shurmur. “If you’ve got any questions or you guys want me to comment on anything as things relate to this year, I’d be happy to.”
I spoke to two players off the record who said that they support what Thomas had to say but did not want to add anything else.
Believe me, even though Hillis may have gained motivation from the comments, the Browns already had theirs from Hillis’ actions last season.
Gordon’s motivation – Josh Gordon has really come into his own over the last four weeks and now leads all rookies with 646 receiving yards and is tied for the league lead with 5 receiving touchdowns. What was once thought of as a “wasted pick” (most specifically by the rumored next GM of the Browns Michael Lombardi) has turned into the best rookie pass catcher in the NFL.
“Really that’s my main motivation and focus every day,” said Gordon. “I never really got the second opportunity to play in college. I just want to go out there and prove my production quality of what I can do. It definitely motivates me everyday though.”
Most of the concerns with Gordon were not on the field but off the field. Gordon said he found mentorship and guidance from two of the best guys in the Browns’ locker room.
“Mentorship wise, I would definitely say between D’Qwell Jackson and Ben Watson,” said Gordon. “Those two guys had been talking to me a lot when I was coming (through training camp) and really just helped me learn how to get going and find (my) work ethic.”
I don’t think Cribbs likes the proposed kickoff rule change – Roger Goodell sat down with Time magazine and once again declared war on the kickoff. This time, he spoke about a proposed option to the kickoff (first thought up by Tamp Bay coach Greg Schiano) where after a touchdown or field goal the team would face a 4th and 15 at their own 30 yard line. The scoring team would then face the decision to punt or go for the first down (which would take the place of an onside kick).
Josh Cribbs no likey.
“They need to change football leagues or (change the name) if they do that,” said Cribbs. “I’m surprised they would utter those words. That’s like taking the field goal out of the stadium. That’s like intramurals, play indoors and put flags on. It’s getting too much to be an entertainment business instead of a sport…we wouldn’t even be on NFL Network, we would be on MTV.”
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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