New York Giants rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas has had anything but a smooth start to his NFL career.
- Poor play that saw him leading the league in pressures allowed for much of the season, and had many wondering if the Giants chose the wrong tackle with the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Playing for a team that began the season 1-7 before righting the ship and winning its last four games.
- Dealing with the upheaval of switching position coaches from Marc Colombo to Dave DeGuglielmo mid-season.
So, what has Thomas learned through all of that?
“Just that you have to keep a level head,” Thomas said. “Coach [Joe Judge] talks about ignoring the noise, and that’s a big thing that I’ve learned to do. Whether you’re performing well or not performing so well you have to keep a level head and continue to work like it’s your first day, and eventually things may work out for you.
“Even if they don’t you have to continue to work hard and try not to pay attention to outside things.”
Thomas has played much better over the past five games, allowing only 1 sack and 5 total pressures. He has not allowed a pressure in the Giants last two games.
The 21-year-old left tackle said there has been no “drastic change” in his technique from his time at Georgia. He did admit, though, that at Georgia his pass set was always a 45-degree angle, while with the Giants he is tasked with using more vertical sets.
The other difference, Thomas said, was that Georgia used more slide protections. That meant that when he did overset to the outside the guard to his right was able to pick up the inside move.
He said his oversetting habit may have developed from Georgia using more slide protections that allowed him not to worry as much about dealing with the inside move.
“That’s been something I’ve been working on the last few weeks trying to get better at and I think that’s made the biggest difference,” Thomas said.
“Not having a preseason, not having OTAs, stuff like. Playing my first couple games it took a minute to grasp, and I’m still getting better, I’m still working.”
Thomas said it was the Tampa Bay game in Week 8, five games ago, when he really began to feel comfortable.
“I think that was the first game where I looked on tape and I felt like I had a good performance,” Thomas said.
Thomas downplayed the change in offensive line coaches, saying he “took coaching points from both Colombo and DeGuglielmo.
“It definitely was a difference having a different coach, but my approach is to take everything I can from whoever’s leading us, whoever’s getting us right for the game,” he said.
Whatever and whoever deserves the credit, things have been working for Thomas in recent weeks.