Tackle Andrew Thomas
September 6, 2021
Q: Saw you got a rest day last week. How is the foot feeling?
A: I’m doing well. The days off definitely helped. Excited to get back to work.
Q: Was it bothering you at all before that? Is that why you needed a rest day?
A: Not necessarily. The coaches just thought it was a good day for me to get a little bit of rest.
Q: How imposing of a test is (Broncos Linebacker) Von Miller and (Broncos Linebacker) Bradley Chubb and what the Broncos are going to throw against you guys?
A: Definitely a dominant group at outside linebacker. Both very talented. We’ll have to be on our A game to block them.
Q: When did you start watching film of them? Have you snuck it in all training camp, in the spring, or is it just starting right now?
A: It started last week. During camp, we were focusing on ourselves and the few opponents we had in preseason, but it started last week. Just clips, film, breakdown, stuff like that. Just trying to key our moves and stuff like that.
Q: Are you expecting Miller to be as good as ever? I know he didn’t play last year, but are you expecting him to be as good as ever?
A: Definitely. (He’s) one of the best of all time to play in the league, so we’ve got to be prepared.
Q: How did you use the long weekend?
A: I just spent a little bit of time with the family, came in for a little bit of treatment, stuff like that. Few lifts and staying in shape, stuff like that.
Q: From the outside, there’s a perception that you guys are going to struggle this season – I’m sure you guys are aware of that as players. How do you process that? Do you personally use that as a little motivation? Because you can’t really ignore it or tune it out, so how do you process all that?
A: For me personally, (I) try not to pay attention to it, one. Then two, as a unit, we always talk about (being) confident, have confidence in your play, have confidence in your preparation. That comes through practice. If you’re focusing on what happened in the past, you won’t be confident for what’s approaching you in the future.
Q: Are you the type of guy who uses that cliché chip on the shoulder, prove the doubters wrong motivation? Do you do that?
A: I wouldn’t say that necessarily. I think I have a chip on my shoulder naturally. The pressure I put on myself is greater than anything coming from outside.
Q: What did you see when you went back in the preseason game? I know you talked about squaring your step, is that kind of what you thought you saw when you looked, or did you see something else maybe?
A: The same things I’ve been working throughout training camp, just trying to stay square as long as possible and just working on different hand strikes, stuff like that.
Q: How much of a challenge is it possibly playing next to somebody who you just met?
A: It’s not really that much of a difference when I’m on the field. Whoever’s in, as long as we’re communicating, it’s the same thing, same scheme. As long as we’re communicating and staying on the same page.
Q: (Guard) Will Hernandez was saying if people are saying the offensive line is going to struggle, we have to show them it’s not going to. Is the offensive line, with all the criticism it’s taken, taken on an, ‘Us against the world,’ kind of mentality?
A: That’s just the kind of mentality that I think we’ve always had. We want to be the guys to lead the group. (Wide Receivers) Coach Tyke (Tolbert) always says, ‘We go as the O-line goes,’ so that’s the mentality that we have. We have to come and be dominant for the offense to perform well.
Q: Have you – I think people have said – maybe overcorrected what you were struggling with last year? Like, gone so far to correct that that something else has come up? Is that a fair assessment?
A: Not necessarily. I think as an offensive lineman, there’s always techniques to get better at and when you’re focusing on one thing there might be something else that you have to work on. Playing in the NFL, guys are going to expose that. They watch film, so you have to do your best to have everything taken care of.
Q: Do you think what we saw in the preseason game is a fair assessment of where you are?
A: I wouldn’t say that. I would say I had a long camp, a lot of practices, a lot of good practices. Didn’t play in the Browns game, but I’ve been working hard in training camp and I think I’m prepared for the season.
Q: Was that a step backwards for you that game, that performance?
A: I wouldn’t say necessarily a step backwards, but definitely a learning experience. Like I said, I went back over the tape, (and) corrected some things going into the season.
Q: How much pressure do you feel? You were a high pick, and you know you were a first-rounder –People around this league are expecting a lot from you. How much do you sense that or feel pressure from that at all? They don’t want you to just be good, they want you to be worth the number four overall pick.
A: Like I said earlier, I try to put pressure on myself. Anything outside is not more than the pressure I put on myself to be great, to be a great offensive lineman.
Q: You saw how (Head) Coach (Joe Judge) rotated tackles last year with (Formers New York Giant & Current Broncos Tackle) Cam Fleming and (Tackle) Matt (Peart). If you get rotated, is that something that you can be comfortable with or do you have to play 65 snaps to get in your rhythm?
A: Not necessarily. Whatever is best for the team, that’s what I’m going to do. Whenever I’m on the field, try to play the best I can.
Q: When you’ve watched tape of the Broncos pass rush going up against their other division rivals, what do people do to stop them?
A: Their rush is a little different between Von and Bradley, but I would see Bradley most of the time because he plays on the left side most of the time – but just being square in your stance. He has a lot of power coming off the edge off his speed rush, so you have to have a good punch. You have to reach with your hands well. Then he also has a long arm that he counters with a dip and spins inside sometimes, so, just being really square in your stance and having power in your punch, I would say.