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Joe Thomas doesn’t want Monday Night Football gig

The latest episode of ProFootballTalk reviews the negative criticism swirling around Kyler Murray, and whether it is genuine or an effort from another team to get him to fall in the draft.

At a time when more than a few people are more than willing to openly politick for a spot in the Monday Night Football booth, one recently-retired player has made it clear that he’s not interested.

Actually, former Browns left tackle Joe Thomas isn’t interested in any work as a game analyst.

“I’m not sure I really want to step into the booth,” Thomas told Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal, “especially after watching what Jason Witten had to endure this season.

Thomas auditioned both for Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football last year. Although he was offered neither job, he drew positive reviews in the interview process.

“Maybe down the line I think I would like to call a game, but right now, I recognize where my talents are and how much work and growth I would have to have in order to be able to step into that booth,” Thomas said.

He realizes that accepting a job like Monday Night Football carries with it a significant time commitment, along with the burden that comes from the criticism invited by a high-profile position.

“When you do that Monday night gig, you get into town on Friday, you’re there until Tuesday, you’re home for basically Wednesday and Thursday, but those days you’re starting to prep and you’re watching film for the next week, so really, I can imagine he got burned out really quickly -- especially when you’re so widely panned and criticized the way he was,” Thomas said.

“I think it would have been different for him with that time commitment had he stepped into that booth and been received the way Tony Romo has, where everyone loves him. He could easily have felt and justified that the work was worth it. But in his case, getting that criticism every single week, I’m sure he was thinking, ‘Man, it was a lot easier playing football for the Dallas Cowboys. I can go out and be the hero every Sunday, and it was a lot easier.’”

Thomas has a point. While the move straight to a big broadcasting gig worked for Romo, for someone like Witten it would have made more sense to make a more gradual transition to broadcasting, as Thomas is doing. The more he does in capacities other than calling games, the more natural -- and less jarring -- it will be for the audience when he transition to the broadcast booth.

Thomas seems to have the ability to pull it off. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he’s very knowledgeable about the intricacies of the game. Sooner or later, we’ll be hearing him on Sundays to Thursdays to maybe even Mondays.