LB Jonathan Casillas
November 23, 2016
Q: We all know Joe Thomas is a Pro Bowl player, and a future Hall of Famer. As a former teammate in college, what do you think it is that makes him so good?
A: I think it's all the things that you said but he does them at the highest level. He's a super athlete. The dude was the running 4.7 at 320 pounds, this was coming out of college, of course. They played him at defensive end when he tore his ACL in the Capitol One Bowl. He played defense when he tore his ACL. He's a tremendous athlete, tremendous leadership, technique, unbelievable height and weight speed. His intangibles are amazing. Everything stacks up at the highest level. When you point out technique, it's him. When you talk about power, it's him. For that position, he sets the bar.
Q: More on Joe Thomas.
A: To be able to play at that high level for a team that has lost the entire time he's been there and not made the playoffs, that speaks a lot about the type of person he is.
Q: You're going against an 0-11 team and it's not an easy week in terms of preparation. Just curious how you handle that?
A: You have to stay focused and you have to keep the main thing the main thing. Families are coming in town, in and out. But in the NFL, we can't really get caught up in the holidays, taking off work or preparing for the holidays. You have to let your family do it, your wife, your mother, your sibling, whoever it is. We need to focus on the main thing and the main thing is beat Cleveland this week, study for Cleveland, prepare for Cleveland. We have practice tomorrow, we have work tomorrow and then hopefully we get to eat tomorrow, too.
Q: What will you do tomorrow for your holiday?
A: My mom is coming into town tonight; she lives in Florida. My sisters and mother are cooking so I'm eating. Like I said, I'm going to come in ready to work tomorrow, let my mom and them handle all of that. I'm not touching the kitchen, the only thing I’m touching is the plate, the fork and the spoon and the knife.
Q: Are you one of those guys that traditionally likes to sit in front of the TV and watch games on Thanksgiving?
A: It all depends on who's in town, whether we're at somebody’s house or my house. But I'm not a big watch football while I'm eating my turkey guy. But we'll see how the day goes tomorrow. I might spend two or three hours just talking to my mom and that's just how it goes sometimes.
Q: When was the last time you saw her?
A: She was here for the Baltimore home game. She's not here every weekend but I try to get her several times a month.
Q: Is it hard to go in and say we can beat any given team on any given Sunday?
A: That's not hard for me to think at all. I've been in the league long enough to know that this team that we played against will probably get a win this year. It's very hard to not get a game this year. They're going to get a win and I say that statistically; thinking about that Detroit team that didn't win a game but when did that happen besides then? They're going to get a win this year, we're not going to let it be against us and we have to bring our A game. Defensively, from the way we look at it, they have a good quarterback, very experienced. I've had my experience with him down in Tampa. They have two good running backs. Those guys are showing up all over the film. We’ve got to be on point. We're at their house and we're about to go on the road, we haven't been on the road in a while. It's going to be a tough game no matter what. Whether it's a big win or a whatever but it's going to be a tough game no matter what.
Q: Historically, when you have a team that is struggling like the Browns are, are they more dangerous than a team that is rolling along and everything is going fairly smoothly?
A: I would say yes because everybody doesn't think like an eight-year pro like me. I said that because I think I have a good understanding that each week you have to bring your A game no matter who you're playing against because of that reason and that reason only because when they bring it and the whole locker room is not on board to bringing their best game out, having their best week of practice and then you show up a little sloppy. A couple little sloppy pieces here and there can make a not so good record team look like a good team.