T Andrew Thomas
December 10, 2020
Q: How did the change in offensive line coaches impact you? What was your reaction to that? How has it impacted you on the field specifically as far as what technique your are using and how you’re playing, if at all?
A: For me, it definitely was a difference having a different coach. My approach is to take everything I can from whoever is leading us, whoever is getting us right for the game. Technique wise, there were a few minor details, but the play scheme, all that is the same. There’s just a few minor details that are different. Play wise, I have just been continuing to work the technique that I’ve been taught. I think it’s starting to click more, but I’m still working every day to get better.
Q: As an offensive lineman and as a rookie trying to find your footing early in a rookie year and you get to a game where you guys really control the game on the ground, how satisfying is that for you personally to be a part of an effort like that?
A: It’s a great feeling being able to run the ball whenever you want to against a pretty good front. It’s good in the O-line room because we work hard to get where we are. Like I said, there’s lot of things we can still improve on and be better.
Q: You said it was just minor techniques changes with the new O-line coach. From the start of the season to now, is it more of a factor of you just getting better or you made changes?
A: I think it’s a little bit of both. I took coaching points from both coaches. Obviously, not having a preseason, not having OTA’s and things like that had an effect. Playing my first couple games, it took a minute to grasp. I’m still getting better, I’m still working trying to fix some things. I think it just takes times and repetition to get better.
Q: You didn’t drastically change the techniques, you just got better at them?
A: Yeah, just getting better. Not a drastic change.
Q: Between the change in offensive line coaches, the slow start you had compared to way you’re playing now plus the team going 1-4 and now winning four straight, what have you really learned about yourself and about the NFL through this season so far?
A: Just that you have to keep a level head. Coach talks about ignoring the noise. That’s a big thing that I’ve learned to do. Whether you are performing well or not performing so well, you just have to keep a level head. Continue to work like it’s your first day and eventually things will work out for you. Even if they don’t, just continue to work hard. Try not to pay attention to the outside things.
Q: If you had to pinpoint one thing in the Andrew Thomas in the first five or six weeks and the Andrew Thomas the last four or five weeks, what’s the one thing that stands out to you?
A: For me, the thing that stands out the most would probably be the inside move. Obviously, in the beginning, that was something I really struggled with. With oversetting, that’s something I’ve been working on over the last few weeks trying to get better at. I think that’s made the biggest difference.
Q: What’s the key to stopping the inside move?
A: Lagging on the defender the right way. I would overset a lot of times and put myself in a bad position. You have to trail your defender, trust your athleticism to push a guy around the pocket so you don’t give up the inside.
Q: What have you learned from going against Leonard Williams? What do you make of him as a force on the other side of the line?
A: He’s a great defensive lineman. I get to go up against him every day. A lot of the times you see in the game he rushes on tackles. So, in practice I get to go against him. It’s just a great opportunity for me playing against a vet like that that’s very talented. I think he has like seven or eight sacks this year. Playing against him every day in practice makes me a better player.
Q: You said you’ve learned to block out the noise. Was there a time where you didn’t block out the noise earlier this season? Did you find it was starting to bother you when people were knocking you in September? If you learned to block it out, there must’ve been a point where you weren’t blocking it out.
A: I see what you’re asking. I wouldn’t say it was like a certain point where I learned. That was something that coach Judge talked about from the beginning. I knew it coming into playing for the New York Giants. It’s a huge media market. There’s lot of things, obviously, there’s social media and all those things. I wasn’t unaware. Actually being in it, it’s definitely a different experience. Like I said, just learning how to be a pro. Block out the noise and continue to work every day to get better.
Q: How similar are the techniques that you are using now to what you were using at Georgia?
A: I would say a little bit different as far as my hand placement. That’s been something that I have been working on and set wise. At Georgia, I was always on a straight and hard 45 angle. Recently, I’ve been working a little bit more vertical to an angle set just depending on the alignment of pressures.
Q: Was there a game where it felt like things clicked for you?
A: I would say the Tampa game. I think that was my first game that I felt a lot better throughout the game. Obviously, gave up a few pressures, things I had to work on. I think that was the first game where I looked on tape and I felt like I had a good performance. Like I said, just continue to build on that and continue to work.
Q: You faced Markus (Golden) a lot in training camp. You think that can come in handy this week?
A: Yeah, definitely. I’m excited to go against MG (Markus Golden). He was only here for a short time with me, but he was a good vet. He always tried to get me going and things like that. I’m excited to go against him.
Q: The oversetting and letting guys inside, was that something you struggled with in college at all? Did that have to do with a mental thing with the guys at this level being bigger and faster? In the SEC, you are playing that top competition.
A: It was a little bit of both, I would say. Like I said, when I was at Georgia, we did that 45 set a lot. We did a lot of slide protection, so if I did overset, the guard a lot of times would be right there. We run a little bit different protection here and the way we spot and set was going to be different. I had to break that habit. Obviously, going against more talented rushers has an effect on that, too. They read your hips, they ready your inside hip. Things like that.