Andrew Thomas isn’t in college, where he was a dominant tackle for the national powerhouse Georgia Bulldogs. He is in the NFL, where he is expected to be a starting tackle for the New York Giants.
He has quickly learned that there is a difference.
Thomas has noticed “how developed everyone is at their positions.”
“In college, you’re fast, you’re strong, you kinda know your assignment, you usually do well,” he said. “But at this level there’s so much technique you have to learn, so many things before the snap which you have to understand before the ball even hikes I think is the biggest adjustment.”
Thomas said he has “a lot of work to do” after two padded practices that featured “some good, some bad.”
“The biggest thing for me is just working a new technique that Coach [Marc] Colombo is teaching, making sure I’m reading my keys right. Trying to be better each and every day.”
Thomas apparently was beaten pretty badly by Lorenzo Carter, a former Georgia teammate, in the first rep of a 1-on-1 blocking drill on Tuesday. Carter won the rep, but he’s high on Thomas’s potential.
“I knew from Day 1 he stepped on campus in Athens [Ga.] that he was going to be a top first-round pick. It’s nothing new,” Carter said.
“I know I’ve gotta bring it to Andrew because, like I said he’s ready and I’ve got to make sure he’s ready for Game 1.”
Giants’ veteran guard Kevin Zeitler has been impressed by Thomas thus far.,
“He’s naturally gifted right off the bat,” Zeitler said. “But the way he approaches every day. He comes in to get better every day, he’s working hard, he’s taking in coach’s advice. Day by day, whether no helmets, helmets, or pads, he’s been getting better.”
Colombo had said recently that there are “few deficiencies” in the No. 4 overall pick’s game. Thomas was pretty forthright when I asked him what those deficiencies might be.
“For me, the biggest thing right, especially in pass pro, is my hands. In college I had a bad habit of having my hands outside my frame. So, I’m working on keeping my hands inside and getting a good strike,” Thomas said.
“In the run game just making sure I keep my feet, keep a good base because sometimes I get a little too excited trying to get to the block.”
Thomas said that the opt out by veteran left tackle Nate Solder did “not necessarily” add pressure to his rookie season.
“I’m just working every day to get better,” Thomas said. “There’s a lot of older guys like Cam Fleming, Kevin Zeitler, guys that I’m leaning on.”
About his singing skills
Giants’ guard Will Hernandez told media recently that he made Thomas sing as part of his rookie initiation. On Wednesday, Thomas said he chose to sing ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When’s She’s Gone.’
“I think I held my own,” he said.