OT Andrew Thomas
October 16, 2020
Q: Two things. First of all, any truth to the rumor that you’re moving to receiver or tight end after that two-point conversion last week?
A: No, there’s no truth to that. I wish, but no, that’s not happening.
Q: How did that play come about? What were you thinking on it?
A: Coach (Burton) Burns actually brought it up to the offensive staff. He kept telling me that he was going to give me a play. Then we ran it in practice and it looked pretty good, so we decided to go with it.
Q: You’re comfortable catching the ball? It looked like you bobbled it a little.
A: You should have seen practice, it was a lot better. It looked way better.
Q: What do you think of your matchup with Chase Young this week? Obviously, two guys who were drafted really high. I think you guys kind of go way back to the top high school recruits.
A: Obviously, very talented guy, but not just him. Their whole front, I think, is like five first round draft picks. It’s going to be a good matchup for our tackles and our inside guys. It’s going to be a good game.
Q: I’m just curious when you look at how these first five weeks have gone, how do you evaluate how you have played?
A: I think I see progression, but there are definitely things that I definitely need to get better at. Things that I’ve been working on, just focusing on, because it’s every week in the NFL. There are no days off, there are no plays off. I’m just trying to cut down my negative plays as much as possible.
Q: Obviously, you’re going to face talented pass rushers every week. But you’ve faced some particularly talented ones over the course of this season. What’s that challenge been like for you?
A: I think it’s actually been good for me, to see it so early so I can understand how it goes and how it is week in and week out. I think that will make me better in the long run.
Q: It’s kind of been murderer’s row, right? You’re getting Chase Young this week, you had DeMarcus Lawrence last week, (T.J.) Watt in Week 1. How do you balance learning from these matchups and guarding against maybe it impacting your confidence going up against some of these elite rushers right out of the shoot?
A: I think the biggest thing is focusing on myself. Obviously, you have to understand the pass rushers, what their moves are, their counters and things like that. But I think the biggest thing for me is just focusing on myself, making sure that my technique is correct because regardless of what they do, if I’m not doing my technique right, then they’re going to be successful. That’s been the biggest focus for me.
Q: What’s been your biggest takeaway so far? What is the one area coming from Georgia through the first five games where you say ‘ok, this is something that I’ve learned from going up against these top guys’?
A: One is the hand usage. They’re very key on using their hands and their secondary rushes. The biggest thing for me personally is just consistency in my set. At Georgia, if you don’t take a good set, sometimes you can get away with it with athleticism and strength. But at this level, if you don’t take a great set, then they’re going to take advantage of it.
Q: One thing you didn’t do a lot at Georgia is lose games. Has that been an adjustment learning to not enjoy the end of a game and the difference?
A: Yeah, it’s definitely different, especially with as hard as we work here. With the Giants, we work really hard and when you come up short, it definitely hurts. But I think just understanding that we’re close, we’re on the brink of breaking the threshold, that continues to motivate us.
Q: Just going back to Chase Young, you guys are in similar stages of your development and you’re at opposing positions. For you, is there any benefit or value of looking at him and kind of seeing where he is and using that as a gauge to measure your own progress?
A: Not necessarily. I don’t really pay attention to other guys trying to measure for myself. Like I said, I’m focusing on myself, understanding my technique and the things that I need to get better at.
Q: We’ve kind of danced around it a little bit. People have kind of asked about your confidence level. What is your confidence level at this point? Has anything that’s happened so far shaken your belief in your ability to play left tackle in this league?
A: No, I wouldn’t say that my confidence is shaken. I think, like I said, there are things that I definitely need to work on. That comes from practice and repetition, and like we talked about earlier, going up against these very talented pass rushers early I think will actually help build my confidence because I’ve seen the best. I’ve seen what the greatest in the NFL look like, so I can continue to get better each and every week.
Q: If you can, just take me through that DeMarcus Lawrence sack last week. When you look at it, what do you look at and what can you fix?
A: On that particularly play, I didn’t hit my landmark. I undershot my set, so he got the edge. Then the second thing was my punch. I know with guys like him, you have to be loose with that outside hand, Coach (Marc) Colombo calls it, because he’s trying to knock that outside hand down. Once he gets it, he can turn the edge. Just being more firm in my set, make sure I get to my landmark and having a better punch.