Reflecting on rookie season, Giants' Andrew Thomas knows what offseason adjustments he needs to make

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Giants T Andrew Thomas blocks Chase Young for Daniel Jones
Giants T Andrew Thomas blocks Chase Young for Daniel Jones

Andrew Thomas’ expectations at the start of his rookie campaign were through the roof. It comes with the territory when you’re drafted No. 4 overall.

But Thomas went through a roller coaster in his first 16 games, starting off on a rough note but slowly showing during the second half of the season why the Giants were so high on him.

So how does Thomas view his rookie campaign? A gigantic learning experience is the best way to put it.

“Obviously it didn’t start out the way I wanted to,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “But being a rookie playing left tackle here in the NFL, it’s a tough deal. So it just took time. [I’ll] continue to work, keep my head down, try not to pay too much attention to the media. Obviously, there’s social media and things like that but just trying to focus on getting better every day and I think that helped me through the season.

“[I] learned so much. That’s the biggest thing from college to NFL, how much you have to study your craft and techniques because those rushers study you. They know your sets, they know your hand placements, all those things. You make one small mistake it can tumble into a snowball effect and be a bad game for you. That’s been the biggest thing I learned so far.”

Though he had a good ending to the year, Thomas still finished with 57 pressures allowed on the quarterback, according to Pro Football Focus. That was second-most among all offensive linemen this season.

So there is certainly room for improvement, and Thomas knows it. The offseason will be crucial for him to continue working on what the coaches have been preaching so that number can go down next year.

“Just going back to the technique thing at left tackle,” he said when asked what he’ll work on during the offseason. “You have to have very good technique and the biggest thing for me is making it muscle memory, things that I’ve learned over the year to make it natural so I don’t have to think about them. It just naturally happens. So that’s the biggest thing focusing on my simple things [like] my stance, focusing on my hand placement and things like that to make sure that next year when I come around those things are ingrained in me.”

And while others might speculate that the Giants could’ve gone with another top lineman like the Jets’ Mekhi Becton or the Bucs’ Tristan Wirfs, Thomas couldn't care less. He knows the players well from their time at the NFL Combine, and says he wishes them nothing but success.

At the end of the day, the only battle Thomas has is with himself. That’s the only way to get better.

“For me, I look at it as running my own race,” he explained. “I want all those guys to be successful, obviously. But for me, I want to be the best player I can be. The best player for the Giants and my teammates. That’s what I’m working to be. If I’m focused on what’s going on outside of me, that takes away from the best player I can be.”

There is still time for Thomas to reflect on this rookie season before jumping into his offseason training for the first time, though. But one thing is for sure: he loves being a Giant.

“I love this group,” he said. “We went through a lot this year obviously with COVID, different position coaches, not playing the way we wanted to as a unit and we stuck together. We continued to fight, continued to push for each other. I’m excited to play with this group.”