Jul 28, 2012; Albany, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle (26) and defensive back Terrell Thomas (24) during training camp at University Field at SUNY Albany. Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Q: What was the idea behind your T-shirts?
A: I just wanted to give back, it’s just a little small thank you to my fans for all the support they gave me last year that helped me get through my injury.
Q: Are you going to be on the field today?
A: I hope so, I’m not sure what the training staff is going to do. It was just a freak accident or something. I haven’t had it since college. I pretty much just had a back spasm and it just locked up on me. It’s crazy how things work -- you know the anticipation of me wanting to get back out there to prove how hard I’ve been working or just to be able to play football again, and something like a back stops you mid-practice. It’s nothing severe so that’s the best thing about it.
Q: You had in college but not since?
A: Yeah maybe once or twice, but like I said I never had a back problem. It’s weird that it came out of nowhere. I’ve been training hard and I haven’t had any problems with it. I’m patient. It’s frustrating but I’m very hopeful and I’ll keep my spirits high. I’m just anxious to get out there to just practice reps right now, being that training camp is so short they’re very crucial so I definitely want to get out there and get those reps in.
Q: I know you’ve being doing football training up to this point but do you think the first practice back led to the back?
A: Who knows? I’m going to leave it to the man above, to be honest with you. I couldn’t tell you. I’ve been doing more than the stuff we’ve been doing here, as far as the lifting and running so it could’ve been just all the traveling and sitting, and my hips were off and it just locked up on me.
Q: When you started practice you were fine right?
A: Yeah, [I was doing other work and I was fine] and all of a sudden it grabbed, and it’s something that happens before you get stretched out and good to go.
Q: Lower back? Is it gone now?
A: Yeah and it’s getting better, but you know with a back you’ve got to be careful with it so we’ll see how it feels as I warm up. So hopefully it’ll loosen up and I’ll be able to practice today.
Q: These T-shirts, giving back to the fans, what kind of stuff stood out to you when you heard from them?
A: They always kept me a part of it, regardless of a win or loss. Stuff like ‘TT we need you out there, you’re never forgotten, you’re a part of the team.’ You kind of get lost in the shuffle when you’re hurt and some fans were just always there supporting me, week in and week out. We read our tweets and we interact with the fans a lot with social media, and my mom always taught me to be very thankful and always give back, so they’re just a small gesture.
Q: So you’ve just got a box out there and you’re just throwing them out there?
A: Pretty much, anyone who wants a T-shirt can get one. At the same time, I’ve been gone for a year and it’s one way to get my name out there and give back to the fans.
Q: So you’re not going to challenge Victor Cruz with a whole T-shirt line and everything?
A: No, not at all.
Q: He didn’t look at you and feel his competition or anything?
A: No not at all. He got one. I made sure he got one; he put it on his website.
Q: Did he put it on his website?
A: No, I’m joking.
Q: You said you want to get your name back out there for the fans because you’ve been away. Do you feel that way about what you’ve got to prove on the field?
A: No my biggest thing is that I always feel like the underdog, always getting overlooked. It’s just a way to get back out there, especially since I was poised last year for a breakout year and then getting injured you kind of go on notice, so I’m going to come storming back but I’m going to let my playing do the talking. This gesture is not about me. It’s really just about me giving back to my fans and it’s a lot cheaper to give out some T-shirts than some jerseys. I’m still working with [Giants VP of Communications] Peter [John-Baptiste] to get my jerseys in stores. Hopefully we can get it in there one day.
Q: You said that you wanted to give back to the fans who had supported you during your injury. It’s autograph day at training camp and you don’t get the typical New York City fans so how is it to be up here and get to interact with your upstate fans?
A: I like it better. I loved being in Jersey last year because we were very local, but you get to interact with the fans a little bit more on the field and it feels more like college. At [USC], we have people at practice every day, and on the weekends we have thousands lined up around, kids in high school, so it’s fun to play in front of them since they’re clapping and cheering us on. It gives us a good atmosphere, getting the fans out here to cheer on our team.
Q: Terrell, I know you weren’t around as much last year, but what have your impressions of Prince been so far at camp?
A: I think he’s ready. I think he’s worked his butt off. He’s tired of all the people criticizing him and I think he’s finally healthy. He’s also been working his butt off in film and in the weight rooms to be a contributor to our secondary, and I think he’s ready to go.
Q: You said you think he’s tired of those people criticizing him. What makes you think that?
A: Well, he’s a first round. First rounds have to prove something, have to put out some pudding. It’s hard as a rookie not having a rookie camp or OTAs and then get hurt on the second practice and have to start the season fresh, so I think now he’s starting all over and he has a second chance to prove himself.
Q: For you was it at all frustrating sitting out the first practice?
A: Well, yeah, but I took it with a grain of salt. It happens. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s nothing severe and I just have to wait. I keep telling everybody it’s God’s plan. That’s something I believe in, and when he’s ready to allow me to practice, I’ll be ready to go.
Q: Does that part of what you were talking about yesterday, getting back in football shape, is that all it is?
A: No, not at all. I was talking about as far as playing football – covering my eyes, techniques, alignment, staying low – all that little stuff that I can’t do in the offseason, stuff you can only do with your team and coaches.
Q: Terrell, is it tough to not push yourself back. Yesterday was only day one, but obviously you’ve had a long wait here, so is it tough?
A: Yeah, it is frustrating at times, the anticipation of training camp finally being here and wanting to get out there, but it’s all about timing. I’m ready and I’ll be ready, I’m definitely not going to push myself, the biggest goal is to be ready by week one which I will be. It’s a very minor injury and I’ll be okay.
Q: How can people get your T-shirt?
A: You can order it on the website or you can get it free here today. I got 2,400 so hopefully everybody gets one.
Q: Do you know of anybody else that’s done this?
A: What T-shirts? Yeah I’m pretty sure other people have t-shirts.
Q: How cool would it be for you to see a sea of those shirts out there?
A: That’s the goal. I got a lot of them so hopefully they wear them and not just tuck them in or try to get people to sign them. Either way it would be a good thing for them to get signed today since it is autograph night.