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Transcript: Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux

Eric from BBI : Admin : 5/31/2023 3:31 pm
Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux

Q. How do you look back at your rookie year individually?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I feel like it was pretty good. I feel like my rookie year I left a lot of space to grow, got better as time went on. Continuously put the work in. I'm excited for the second year now.

Q. What are some of the things you're looking to get better at as far as your technique is concerned?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Getting sacks, finishing, there were a lot of times when I had a good pass rush that I didn't finish. You realize the guy on the other side of the line is paid a lot of money. They're not going to let him get touched. Continuing to sharpen the end of my rush, that third phase and make sure I start to finish.

Q. Were you the kind of guy that almost looked at every snap? Did you sit down at one point and watch and watch and watch?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I watched most of it. I didn't watch the good plays, the good plays are kind of dead and gone now. I was trying to find out how I can eliminate as many bad plays as possible. I don't think there were that many bad plays, but even the rushes that I didn't finish, just trying to figure out what I can do to finish.

Q. During the season, you thought maybe you needed to get stronger, maybe more in your legs. I'm curious how you address that?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I think it's -- it's funny, so my lower body, it will never look bigger but I'm as strong as anybody else when it comes to squatting, when it comes to lifting and things like that.

But what I started to learn was more of the application of my strengths, start to figure out how to use my leverage and use the things I have to my advantage.

Q. Were there one or two plays from last year, talking about finishing, that you didn't finish that really stuck with you?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Yeah, the first game, I think we played Washington, it was a second-guess kind of a step that threw me off even though I was unblocked. There were a couple of snaps in the Eagles game, the first game we played, where I could have had an impact if I finished the top of my rush. I know there was one against the Texans, when I was going against (Texans Offensive Tackle) Laremy Tunsil, he's a guy who's really long, but I let him, at the end of my rush, I let him get his hands on me where I should have been able to get around him.

Q. What does it say to you and your room really, that they made a lot of upgrades, brought in a lot of players at different positions. They're kind of running back with you guys there as edge rush there. It's kind of the same group that it was last year. What does that say?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: We have a great GM. Since I've been here, I told myself I want to be something like a GM one day, so I started to look at the team's needs and whatever the case is. I think he's brought in the right pieces for us to continue to grow on the offensive side and defensive side. A lot of guys he did bring in that are here now are primed and they're some great players, so I'm excited to get out there and start training camp.

Q. They didn't bring any edge rushers though. What does that say about your group?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I don't know how much more money they were going to spend on edge rushers (laughs). I'm excited.

Q. You piqued my interest. You see yourself working in the front office?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Not really. I just want to be an analyst like you guys and see what the next moves are for teams. For me even being on a team trying to figure out what components does a team need to succeed. Just kind of looking at it from a 360 point of view.

Q. Do you dig into analytics at all in terms of how it can help you as a player?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I mean, we just brought in a corner. I know that will help. I'm excited to see some more lockdown coverage. I'm excited to be able to make things happen.

Q. Along those lines, you like to do this type of stuff, what do you think of all the new additions to the defensive side of the ball?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: They're amazing. Now we have depth. I'm excited. A lot of guys are here to work. There are no egos. There's nobody that doesn't want to get better. If you look out there, it looks like practice is still going on because there are a lot of guys still training with each other, helping each other out. That's the culture we're building.

Q. What about on the offensive side of the ball, you've got some guys that can really challenge you guys?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Even today they made some plays, it made me excited seeing them make plays and seeing them gel together and continue to grow that chemistry.

Q. Other than the snaps you said you studied, things can you do better, what do you think you learned most about what this is all about, what the NFL life is all about, that you couldn't have known before this?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: That, yeah, dinner gets expensive. When you go a year going out to dinner every week you start to realize I'm going to start eating at home, going to the grocery store.

Q. The Giants did a video the other day where you guys walked off the field and you had to say something nice about the guy -- I noticed you were walking off with (tackle) Evan (Neal). You guys will always be linked, same draft class, top-10 picks. You had success; he had ups and downs last year as a rookie. What have you seen from him in terms of where he's grown and you going against him, what he showed you as a rookie versus what he showed everybody else?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You know, the thing about playing defense and offense is that if we lose, they're not just going to point at me. But if we lose, they're going to point at the o-line. For him I think he's been able to process it more mentally. I feel like coming into it he starts to get an understanding. And me too, just figuring out you have to play to your strengths. A lot of guys come to the NFL, they want to be like somebody else or want to take every tool that you can get. But at the end of the day, you are who you are. Once you start to understand what type of player you are and how you can grow with the assets you already have, you become a great player. I think he's done a great job, one, blocking out the noise and continuing to stay on his grind, and continuing to ask those questions, be hungry, be curious.

Q. When you look at last year in the spring versus this year now and how maybe last year was maybe a whirlwind – my words not your words – how more locked in do you feel like you are into your game versus last year and how much is that going to help you moving forward?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: When you talk about being "locked in," it's a different mentality. When you haven't played against NFL-caliber guys, you don't really know how big, how strong you need to be, how fast you need to be. Once you kind of get that down and you start to really learn the ins and outs of the games, which is what I started to do at the end of the season last year, going into this year, it becomes a lot easier. Now I can focus on the offense and not so much focus on myself but figure out the different tips and tricks I can give going into training camp.

Q. You talked about how you want to finish more this year. In terms of sacks, can you put a number on that at all?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: No, because I had a number on it last year, and I figured out that the season is so long that you have to do it by game. If I can make impactful plays like I was able to do and continue to win, I mean, no one will ever remember me. As long as we win, as long as I continue to play well, play for my teammates I think I'll be good.

Q. When did you go through that shift of maybe thinking not about a number of sacks, but kind of about more the season as a whole. How did you process that, or when did that start to change?

KAYVON THIBODEAUX: When you go four sacks, four or five games with no sacks you start to realize forget that number. What can I do to just make a play? Come the Baltimore game it was like okay, I've got to make a play. I don't really have time to think about the goals I had. I've got to go for something now.
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