OT ANDREW THOMAS
Q: How are you doing?
A: Feeling pretty good. I just followed the plan from the trainers in the off-season, and I'm trying to maintain that, working on strengthening and stuff like that. It feels pretty good.
Q: And at what point did you get back on the field full and not restricted at all?
A: They had a plan for me in OTAs. I just followed that. I was in a red jersey. I'm just working, trying to get better, and they're letting me go now.
Q: So, you can do everything when you went back and trained in the last six weeks?
A: They had a plan set for me I just followed what they told me to do.
Q: Did you have any doubts that you would be ready for day one of camp?
A: I didn't have any doubts. I was prepared. I had the plan set. I followed it and did everything they asked me to do, and I'm practicing today.
Q: When did you lose the limp?
A: I don't know exactly what point of time, but I started to progress and got some rest after I left here after OTAs. I started doing treatment down there in Atlanta, and I started getting better.
Q: Do you feel that this nagging ankle deal is fully behind you now, or are you not going to know until you test it over the haul of the regular season?
A: I think it's a day-by-day thing. I had surgery obviously, so it's something that's going to continue that I'm going to work towards, even when it's feeling great (I'm) still going to do my rehab and prehab and make sure it's ready for the season.
Q: When you rehab an injury, obviously that takes away from your training. How much did rehab affect your training? Did you get done what you wanted to get done in the off-season?
A: In the early stages it's hard because early in January when I first had it, I can't run, obviously and things like that. But when I could, I did everything that I could. I worked hard. I did a lot of balancing and stuff like that to recover. I feel like the hardest part is catching up to the plays. Because you can't – I learn well by being on the field. So, in OTAs not being able to run with the team, it was something to overcome. I tried to be as engaged as much as possible in the meetings.
Q: Did you work on that stuff when you were away from the facility? Did you have kind of have like more of a green light to resume some of that stuff when you were training in Atlanta?
A: The physical therapist that I had down there, they coordinated with the people up here telling them what I was restricted on and what I couldn't do. Once I had the green light, they let me do what I needed to do.
Q: What can you and (Offensive Tackle) Evan (Neal) give this team this year and moving forward?
A: Honestly, I think our whole offensive line – we have some talented guys. It's just day one, so right now were trying to build that unity because that's being an offensive line. But Evan's a very talented kid – physical freak, you know what I'm saying – so once he gets it down, he's going to be pretty good.
Q: When you look at him, what do you see? What do you see from him?
A: He's just works hard every day. He doesn't say much, he puts his head down. If he has a question, he'll ask it. I mean he just comes in, and he works.
Q: You guys don't play next to each other. Is there a bond? I mean, first round picks, potential bookends on this line –
A: Honestly, I think the whole offensive line, we're usually a lot tighter than other groups. We spend a lot of time together. It's just day one, but I think we're going to go to dinner. We're going to talk, we're going to have a lot of time together just to build that unity.
Q: What's the next benchmark for you to put this nagging injury behind? Is there something you need to see?
A: There's not really a benchmark. I'm just approaching every day just trying to win the day. Put today away, watch the film and get ready for tomorrow. That's the way I go about it.
Q: How do you evaluate yourself when you're not in pads?
A: Right now, it's a little different because it's not full contact, obviously. You can't really test your anchor as much when you don't have pads on. But, once we put the pads on, we'll see what happens.
Q: You had a pretty good year last year obviously. What are your expectations for perhaps being one of the elite offensive left tackles this league for this year?
A: Honestly, I'm just in competition with myself. There are a lot of things I saw from last year that I need to clean up and things I need to get better at. Once I put that on film, I think that it will speak for itself.
Q: Like what?
A: Just being consistent in my set. I made jumps obviously from my rookie year to last year. It's being a lot more consistent with my hand placement and having a stronger anchor at certain times and just being more consistent overall.
Q: This is your fourth offensive line coach in your third season. What has (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby (Johnson) asked you to do that maybe you didn't have to do under the previous O-line coach. Any major adjustments?
A: So, the scheme is a little different the way we approach it. It's just a little bit more aggressive in our sets. Some of my previous coaches we've had, it was a little more of a vertical set. In the running game, the footwork is a little different. But the mentality is still to be physical and to be dominant upfront.
Q: Is playing next to (Guard) Shane (Lemieux) just like getting back on the bike or is there a readjustment that you have to go through again?
A: Me and Shane built up some camaraderie playing together. We understand each other a little bit on field. Sometimes we don't have to communicate, and it just works well.
Q: You know what the offensive line deal has been around here for a while, even before you. Do you feel that this line will be what Giants need?
A: We're taking it one day at a time. Like I said, we have some talented guys in the room, but it's just day one. We're just working still trying to get the playbook down. Figuring out our technique that coach is teaching us. Just trying to be as good as possible.
Q: What do you think this line can be though with this group? What's the goal?
A: The goal is to be dominant – to be the belle cows of the offense. Lead the guys, protect (Quarterback) DJ (Daniel Jones) so he can make throws to all the playmakers. That's the goal.
Q: How do you get there to being dominant?
A: Just the beginning like I said. Just the technique aspect of it. Just learning the plays, camaraderie like I talked about earlier. Taking it one day at a time because it's a lot of new guys coming together. So, one day at a time, extra meeting time, whatever we can do to get better.
Q: You're really the only holdover on this offense. Do you feel like this is your offensive line and that you're the leader of the group?
A: Not necessarily that it's my offensive line, but this year I'm trying to take more of a leadership role. It was little harder in OTAs not being out there. When I'm out there now, just trying to be a little bit more vocal and lead with how I practice.
Q: How did you think the offense did today?
A: I think for the first day, pretty good. Some things to clean up definitely, but we didn't have meetings this morning. So, for the first day I think pretty good.