Andrew Thomas has had his struggles in his first five NFL games. Like just about all rookies experience, Thomas is going to go through growing pains.
But the fourth overall pick’s position coach not only believes that Thomas has what it takes to play left tackle in the NFL, he believes he can be an elite player at his position.
“Andrew’s capable of being a dominating tackle in the NFL. I truly believe that,” said Giants offensive line coach Marc Colombo. “He’s gone against some really good competition, he’s done well at times, and at times not so much. A lot of good learning opportunities for Andrew, and I truly believe after the amount of pressures and stuff that he’s seen this year, the amount of pass-rushers he’s seen, he’s really going to be better for it. Consistency with him is a key, and that’s me just harping on him every day.
“Andrew’s young, he’s really young, he’s a rookie and he’s going to go through some growing pains, but he’s getting better and he did a lot of good things in the game the other day. Used his hands, he had a few plays we’ve got to talk about, a few things we’ve got to clean up, but for the most part it’s really just harping on the details. Consistency in the NFL is going to be the biggest thing for all these young guys.”
But what Colombo doesn’t want to happen to happen to Thomas, though, is for his confidence to drop because of these first few games. He wants to build Thomas up while also making sure he’s correcting his mistakes.
“It’s my job to keep his confidence up. Tell him the things he did well in the game. Tell him the things that he’s doing well right now,” Colombo said. “But it’s also my job to harp on every little tiny thing that he’s done wrong.
“Andrew is a great kid, he wants to get better, he asks all the right questions, he works really, really hard out on the field, so my big challenge to him this week is to show him what he did well on film and be able to replicate that.”
With a record of 0-5, the Giants have experienced problems across the roster, with every position group being capable of playing above the level they’re currently at. The offensive line is no exception, as Daniel Jones has been sacked 16 times already this season, the second-most in the NFC and tied for fourth-most in the entire NFL.
According to Colombo, the whole group up front needs to step up, but they’re putting in the work to do so.
“We need to be more consistent as a group. You can see it. There’s flashes of it and it’s getting a little better every week,” said Colombo. “I said this a few weeks ago, we’ve got to start taking leaps. We really haven’t done that. They’ve been kind of baby steps, and that’s something we’re going to have to fix.
“These guys, I love this group. They’re going to come out and practice and work hard. They’re not going to be down. They’re hungry, and it’s one of the best groups I’ve been around from that standpoint, so I’m not worried about attitude and stuff like that. We have a great attitude.”