The New York Giants are preparing their welcome-wagon for 4th overall pick Andrew Thomas in the coming weeks for the start of training camp. Thomas isn’t the same player he was just a few months ago. The Georgia standout has worked hard to increase his strength and fundamentals, further preparing for the NFL and the expected replacement of Nate Solder at left tackle.
Reports have indicated that Thomas could be situated at right tackle in his rookie campaign, as a position battle will force him to earn his way to Daniel Jones’ blind-side. However, the progress he’s seemingly making will give him a leg up on his competition.
Offensive line fundamentals coach Kynan Forney appeared on the Giants Huddle podcast with Paul Dottino and John Schmeelk, raving about Andrew Thomas this offseason.
“I see tremendous improvement in him,” Forney said on the show. “Let’s be clear about this, Andrew is a very smart football player. One thing that I’ve noticed with him is that when I show him something on film … I correct it right there on the field and he’ll see it and he’ll make the correction right then. There’s been some times when he’s blown me away when I say, ‘Hey, look here maybe you not want to flare your elbows back as much because it’s taking too much time, let’s keep them nice and tight.’ Whatever the situation is, as soon as we do the next rep, he corrects it and fixes it. He’s very smart and will correct it. He’s a coach’s dream. He’s a coach’s pleasure. I know the Giants will be very happy with him when they get him coming up this fall. I’m trying to get him ready for Sunday, and he’s very coachable, very smart, and he’s trying to work it.”
Thomas has already begun exercising Marc Colombo’s playbook and development plan with coach Forney.
“Going into the season, he’ll be fresher but also too he’s coming to Dash and working on the field and we’re looking at his [tablet] and we’re going through some of the drills that [Giants offensive line coach Marc] Colombo and [assistant offensive line coach Ben] Wilkerson want them to work on and we’re doing those. And also too I’m adding some things in because there’s a lot of stuff that I watch and can see up close that I’ll be like, ‘Hey, you know what, we need to work this a little bit more’ because he might be sliding back into this old habit or, ‘Hey, let’s do this drill’ just because he’s gotten better and we can add something to it. He’s far past that point of where I have to do a whole lot of fundamentals, but I still want to stay on his fundamentals.”
As Forney mentions, Thomas is far beyond the point of basic fundamentals, but continuing to work on them is essential.