July 23, 2014

Joe Thomas: Mitchell Schwartz Has Better Technique Than I Did

For a guy coming in as a rookie, [Mitchell Schwartz] has great technique. He’s a technician. I think he’s got better technique than I did when I was a rookie. [...] He’s very impressive. His level of detail, study-wise, is also impressive. I don’t think he’s had a mental error yet. As a rookie, that’s impressive, to be running with the ‘Ones.’

- Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas on teammate and rookie offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, the 37th-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Schwartz, 22, will step in and provide the Browns with a bookend to Thomas who has five Pro Bowls and five All-Pro nods attached to his five-year career.

[Related: Is Montario Hardesty Tom Heckert’s Big Miss?]

(Source: Tony Grossi)

  • mgbode

    all of that would be even better if Joe Thomas wasn’t talking about fly fishing at the time

  • Garry_Owen

    This guy could turn out to be our best draft pick this year.  His success or failure will more greatly impact the success or failure of the other guys moreso than theirs will impact his.  I’m looking forward to watching him play. 

    Games could be won this year at RT.   

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    It certainly feels like more than a few have been lost at RT since Ryan Tucker flamed out.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Boy I hope you are wrong.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Boy I hope you are wrong.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Agreed… I’m still of the opinion that the quality of a running back doesn’t matter unless he gets consistent holes from his offensive line.  If Schwartz can consistenly help Richardson get to the 2nd level, then you might consider him to be the most successful draft pick.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    Great to hear that people are looking forward to seeing him play. On draft night, if one was to judge merely by Twitter and comment fields, he’d assume the Browns drafted a one-legged man.

  • Garry_Owen

    Why?

  • Garry_Owen

    Admittedly, on draft night I really wanted to see us pick up a WR with the pick, and was disappointed with the selection.  But now that there’s nothing that can be done about it, I’m looking forward.  No point in living in the past.  Besides, after learning more about him as a player, I’m really excited about his potential (particularly given that they also drafted a starting QB, for which I also wasn’t initially very excited but have since come around).  

  • 5KMD

    Weeden, I assume.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Because while it would be great to see the RT position filled by someone healthy who can actually play both Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden need to be better then Mitchell Schwartz.  Scratch that, not need to be make it must be.

  • Harv 21

    On draft night even knowledgable fans seem to get more excited by skill position picks than linemen. Picking linemen high may be a no-brainer at halftime of Game 12 after watching the Ravens defense living in your backfield, but on draft night, when you’re all geeked up for “impact player” seeing that actually happen can feel like someone just slid a plate of broccoli in front of you. You know it’s good for you but you were so thinking about the dessert tray that just rolled by.

  • Garry_Owen

    But if Schwartz turns out to be the best draft pick, Weeden and Richardson will have terrific years.  They can’t lose if he turns out to be the best pick of the draft.  They certainly can if he fails. 

    By the way, I’m not saying “best player,” I’m saying “best draft pick.”  No doubt that Richardson is a better player, but Schwartz might end up being a better pick.  I hope I’m right. 

  • Roosevelt

    …to be the kicker. 

  • mgbode

    I think you and Garry are caught in semantics here.

    Schwartz is the gateway to Richardson having holes on both sides of the OL and Weeden not worrying about outside pressure (as I assume that we all trust Joe Thomas on the left side).

    Therefore, it’s almost impossible that if Schwartz was the best pick that he’ll actually get credit for being it because he is the catalyst to the other guys having their greatest success :)

  • CBI

    Gary, I agree with you.  If Schwartz does his job Weeden and Richardson transformation to the pro game will be that much smoother

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Not true and for a perfect example you have no further then to look then the LT for the Cleveland Browns.  Joe Thomas has been more then anyone could have ever expected when he was drafted and what exactly have the Cleveland Browns done in that time?  The offense is the worst it’s ever been, they will have another new starting QB not to mention another new RB.  Great OL do not make teams better by default they still need a very good QB and RB who can take advantage of the work they do.

    Best pick, best player I don’t care how you label it Richardson and Weeden must be the best two draft choices out of this past draft for this football team unquestionably.

  • http://twitter.com/PEngle39 Phil Smith

    Cleveland fans are a bit irrational sometimes. I thought the city was gonna burn down cuz the Browns selected at RT over a WR; since some fans think football is played with a QB, RB, WR, and nothing else…….

  • mgbode

    has the problem been the left side of the OL?   no, and there are a number of sites that show we do well running left, etc.

    the problem is that we still had a glaring hole at RT (and our OG play was very bad to start the year and worked it’s way up to either just under average or maybe average).

    if Schwartz is the last piece of the OL puzzle, then yes, his play will very much help the QB and RB.   A ton.

  • Garry_Owen

    That’s unquestionably questionable. 

  • mgbode

    I wanted Cordy Glenn, but I was very happy to get a RT over WR.  I thought there was a good chance of a WR dropping to the 3rd and a few of them did.

    (it was the trade down from there to get Hughes that made me mad on draft day.  hopefully, Hughes takes Phil’s spot while he is out and makes that a good selection too)

  • Jay

    “Cleveland fans are a bit irrational sometimes.”

    And the ‘Understatement Of The Year’ Award goes to…..

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Listen I’m not going to debate running left as opposed to running right what about running up the middle?  If you have to take it down to that degree then that’s your problem.  I simply gave my opinion on a belief I have had long before I ever visited this site.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Like I said it’s my belief/opinion. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Really?  I wish I could take Trent Richardson away and let you all have Hardesty, Jackson and Obagnayai however you spell it then you’d see for yourself. 

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think you’re misunderstanding what I said… I think Richardson is far superior to those other running backs you mentioned.  What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter who the running back is if the offensive line can’t create holes for him to run through.

  • Hypno_Toad

    Bingo.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I think it most definitely matters who the running back is because a great running back can create, find, make holes all on his own he doesn’t have to rely on an OL to make one every single time he attempts to run the ball.

    Common ground would be that they work hand in hand but really you could apply that to the entire team I’m just trying to end this amicably. 

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m willing to give a little bit and admit that vision plays an important roll and some running backs have better vision than others for finding holes, but that’s where our common ground will stop.  For the most part, I think offensive lines make running backs successful and not the other way around.

  • mgbode

    I worded my thoughts better in the comment below anyway :)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m a RB junkie so personally I don’t think you are giving the position the credit it’s due.  There is a reason a RBs career is short and it’s because they take a beating virtually every play.  If the OLs were creating so many holes and room to run then I think it’s safe to say a RBs career would be longer then I believe 7 years. 

    I don’t discredit OL they do a job that is the foundation for the offense without much fanfare but then again that’s their job.  I will disgree however that there is a huge difference in what said OL has to do for say a Chris Obawhatever and that of a Trent Richardson.  You can’t broadly paint the RB position with the same brush. 

    Regardless of the chicken or egg hopefully both the OL and RB positions will be well represented this upcoming season for the football team.  All anyone will have to worry about then is the QB and WR!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You r always in my bizness what’s a matter there weren’t enough other topics for your 3,000 comments?  ;-) 

  • saggy

    i think you can look to the differences between guys like Barry and Emmitt Smith.  

    Barry was transcendent – he HAD TO BE since that line wasn’t very good. 

    Emmitt was a solid back, but, even though he retired as the all-time leading rusher, nobody considers him a prototype.  He only gets a respectful nod when you talk about the greatest RB’s of all time, whereas Sanders is right up in the discussion.

    OL makes a big difference to a good RB, but the hall-of-fame RB makes his own holes regardless of OL.  

  • porckchopexpress

    I wouldn’t say best but defintely most important (or is that semantics? : ).  If he does his job at a high level it means that a tight end doesn’t have to be placed next to him to help block, which means one more receiver on passing downs, which also means more reps for Moore.  It also takes blocking stress off of Richardson, I don’t care how great a back you are reading defenses for blocking has to be the most intellectually draining part of being a RB.  If he is free to go, or chip and go on passing downs it makes a huge difference. 
    And if I assume that the scouting reports on Weeden are right, that he is great when he has time, then having a RT keep the heat off is critical. 

  • Garry_Owen

    I think if all of those things come to fruition then he would be the best! (Yes, I’m sure it’s semantics.)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This is true… and really there aren’t many “transcendent” running backs.  Sanders was one, but who else would you put in that list.  Tomlinson?  Faulk?  Peterson?  Dickerson?  Payton?  Sayers?  Brown?  The vast majority of running backs need a good offensive line, even guys with great runs like Shaun Alexander, Jamal Lewis, and Terrell Davis.