Andrew Thomas needs a good laugh, but he keeps watching a horror movie.
After two weeks of external criticism His disappointing performance in the pre-season finale It has now escalated five days into the season opener for the Giants against the Broncos. Thomas delves into the film’s study of pass racers Bradley Chap and Vaughn Miller, who are perhaps the most feared tandem in the NFL for any struggling young left-winger.
“I naturally have a chip on my shoulder,” Thomas said. “The pressure I put on myself is greater than anything that comes from outside.”
It must carry the weight of the world.
Honestly or not, Thomas – the top-choice but least-rated rookie of the four offensive tackles atop the 2020 class – has become the face of many offensive line errors during General Manager Dave Gettleman’s four-year tenure. The last-second deals to add two guards last week have nothing to do with Thomas, but he can put out the fires for everyone in the organization by playing well against the Broncos.
Thomas expects more matches with Chubb – who finished second on the Giants team roster after Saquon Barkley in 2018 – than Miller. So how can it work?
“Just being balanced in your stance,” Thomas said. “He has a lot of power coming out of the edge of his quick lunge, so you have to have a good punch. You have to reach with your hands really well. Then he also has a long arm that he resists with a dip and turns inward sometimes, so just being balanced in your posture and having the power in your punches.”
Miller, who missed the entirety of last season, and Chubb, who missed most of 2019, have only played four games together since they fed each other for a combined 26.5 sacks in 2018. So, there isn’t much evidence to rule out Miller to move around to take a tour. in Thomas.
“He’s one of the best players ever in the league, so you have to be prepared,” Thomas said.
Thomas played more widely in the second half of last season than he did at the start, but allowed sacks in three of the last four games, including two of seven pressures against the Cardinal. He played through a foot injury that necessitated surgery in January and still needs management, prompting Thomas to sit up last Thursday and report for treatment during the team’s three-day hiatus.
“I’m fine,” said Thomas. “Days off definitely helped. I am excited to be back at work. The coaches thought it was a good day for me to get some rest.”
Thomas seemed to have a quietly solid training camp – “lots of good practice,” he self-rated – until alarms went off when he allowed two goers and pressed another in the half against the Patriots. He’s also struggled in joint practices against Josh Uche, who has a single-bag total of 19.5 fewer than Chubb and 105 fewer than Miller.
“I try not to pay attention to that,” Thomas said of the blues predictions. “As a unit we always talk about confidence in your play and confidence in your preparation. It comes with practice. If you focus on what happened in the past, you will not be confident what will come close to you in the future.”
Giants coach Joe Judge tried to spotlight Thomas.
“It’s funny: Sometimes the ratings on the outside just don’t have the whole picture at hand and an understanding of all the other 10 pieces that go together,” Judge said. “So, you have to take that with a grain of salt sometimes.”
Thomas described his performance against the Patriots as more of a “learning experience” than a step back. It is still unknown who will share contact responsibilities with him in the left guard, whether it be the injured Shane Lemieux, the summer’s Kenny Wiggins who was called up from the coaching squad, or a newcomer like Ben Bradison or Billy Price.
“There are always techniques to get better at, and when you focus on one thing, there may be something else you have to work on,” Thomas said. “Playing in the NFL, guys are going to figure that out. They watch movies, so you have to do your best to take care of everything.”
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