BEREA - Running back Peyton Hillis struck back Thursday at comments made by Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas a day earlier.
Thomas said that Hillis was a toxic presence in the locker room last season. He was critical of Hillis for putting his bid for a new contract ahead of his desire to play. He questioned Hillis for not playing because of a case of strep throat and a hamstring injury.
Hillis is now with the Kansas City Chiefs, who play the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday. He was asked about Thomas' comments after practice Thursday.
"Joe Thomas can have his opinions all he wants," Hillis said. "He's kind of like a crazy ex-girl friend. It's been over a year; get over it. When you get paid over $100 million from one team it's kind of easy to hate on other guys to get another contract. I've gone on with my life."
Hillis spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Browns. He was acquired in a trade that sent quarterback Brady Quinn from Cleveland to Denver.
"I don't have any bitterness, resentment or regrets," Hillis said of his time with the Browns. "There are always things you wish that you can do better, but now is now and I've got to do what is best for me now. I look forward to going back there. It's a great atmosphere, and I really enjoyed the fans there."
MAN OF THE YEAR: For the second time in his six-year NFL career, Thomas has been selected as the Browns' Walter Payton Man of the Year. He was also selected in 2010. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community services as well as playing excellence.
Thomas has been involved in several charitable causes in the Cleveland area since being selected by the Browns third overall in the 2007 NFL draft. He's been an advocate for hunger relief programs through the Cleveland Foodbank. Earlier this year Thomas made the largest financial contribution ever received by the Kids in Need Resource Center.
The NFL will provide a donation on Thomas' behalf to the charity of his choice. He has selected Team Rubicon USA, a non-profit charity founded by former college teammate Jake Wood.
GETTING HEALTHY: There's a chance that cornerback Dimitri Patterson will be available after missing the last seven games with a sprained ankle. It will be the first time all season that the defense will have a totally healthy secondary.
"It will be good," defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. "Dimitri has had a couple good days of practice. 'Bubba' (Ray Ventrone) and Usama (Young) are back. Obviously, we can't carry everyone into the game. It will make for some tough decisions by coach (Pat) Shurmur."
WAIT AND SEE: Guard Jason Pinkston tweeted this week his plans to begin conditioning exercises. Pinkston was placed on the injured-reserve list when it was discovered that he had a blood clot.
It will take quite a bit of time before it's determined if Pinkston will be able to play next season.
"It's hard for me to tell what the long range is for him," Shurmur said. "I saw him yesterday (Wednesday) and talked to him. He looked like he's doing well."
MEATBALL SPLASH: Guard John Greco, a graduate of Boardman High School, has been given the nickname 'Meatball' by his teammates. It started earlier this season when Greco, then a backup, came off the bench on goal-line situations.
"I would assume it has to do with my Italian roots, and I like to cook," Greco said. "(Offensive coordinator) Brad (Childress) has a sense of humor. I'm sure he's having a little fun with me."