Joe Thomas 'disagreed' with holding calls

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
3:34
PM ET
Joe Thomas has been to the Pro Bowl in every one of his six seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

So when Thomas is flagged for a penalty, eyebrows raise.

When it’s two penalties, eyebrows go to the hairline.

And when the second is at a vital part of the game, the eyebrows are in orbit.

Which is what happened to Thomas last Sunday in Kansas City. He was flagged for two holding calls that played a large role in the Browns loss -- on top of two false starts prompted by his desire to get off the line fast in a noisy stadium against a relentless pass rush.

Thomas did not think the holding calls were warranted.

“I disagreed with them,” Thomas said. “I think I talked to a couple (reporters) after the game, and I said I disagreed with them. After I watched the film, I still disagreed with them.”

Evidently the team did as well. Coach Rob Chudzinski said the Browns had sent the film to the league for clarification -- coach speak for “well we didn’t think much of those calls so we’ll see if New York can explain them.”

The second was the most costly. It came on the Browns second-last drive, and last chance to win. On second-and-10 from their 28, the Browns picked up 13 yards and a first down. But Thomas was flagged for holding, which put the Browns back to their 18. They did not get the first down and turned the ball over with 2:01 left. The penalty was called for what looked like a hook of Tamba Hali.

“To me, that’s blocking,” Thomas said. “It that’s a flag then every play is a flag.

Thomas’ first hold was just as costly. It came with the Browns on the Chiefs 36 after a 37-yard completion to Jordan Cameron.

A first down run by Willis McGahee gained nine, but Thomas was flagged for holding, a call he spent much time discussing with the official.

The Browns were set back to first-and-19, and had to punt three plays later. McGahee’s run would have put them in field goal range.

“I disagreed,” Thomas said. “Really that’s all I can say about that.”

Thomas is one of the league’s best left tackles, if not the best. Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs had nothing but high praise for Thomas, calling him an all-around great guy and one of the few match ups he anticipates each season.

Yet still Thomas was flagged for holding on two calls he questioned.

“I think you got to be Peyton (Manning) to get the benefit of the doubt on calls,” Thomas said. “It’s not like the NBA where they don’t call any fouls on LeBron.”

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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