New York Giants head coach Joe Judge on Monday defended second-year offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, under fire following a poor performance against the New England Patriots in the recent preseason finale.
“It’s funny, sometimes the assessments on the outside don’t really have the entire picture at hand and understanding all the other 10 pieces that go together,” Judge said. “So, you’ve got to take that with a grain of salt sometimes when you read certain things.”
Had Thomas’s performance been a simple blip on the radar screen it may not have been greeted with such alarm. Coming off a rookie season in which Thomas was, by some metrics, the NFL’s worst offensive tackle it raised serious concern about the progress of the player the Giants made the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Until his struggles against the Patriots, Thomas had been having a fairly quiet preseason that inspired hope that the 2021 version of Thomas would not resemble the often overmatched 2020 version.
Thomas did not want to call his game against the Patriots a step back.
“I wouldn’t say necessarily a step backwards, but definitely a learning experience, Thomas said.
Thomas said Monday he doesn’t believe that game is a reflection of the kind of player he is.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Thomas said. “I would say I had a long camp, a lot of practices, a lot of good practices. Didn’t play in the Browns game, but I’ve been working hard in training camp and I think I’m prepared for the season.”
The 22-year-old is still one of the four youngest players on the Giants’ 53-man roster. He understands the expectations that come with where he was drafted and the position he plays.
“I try to put pressure on myself,” Thomas said. “Anything outside is not more than the pressure I put on myself to be great, to be a great offensive lineman.”
A few days from now, the Denver Broncos will be at MetLife Stadium with future Hall of Famer Von Miller and talented Bradley Chubb trying to make Thomas and the other giants’ offensive linemen look silly.
“Definitely a dominant group at outside linebacker. Both very talented,” Thomas said. “We’ll have to be on our A game to block them.”
His ‘A game’ certainly better not resemble what he showed vs. New England.