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Transcript: Left Tackle Andrew Thomas

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/26/2023 3:50 pm
Left Tackle Andrew Thomas

Q. What made you decide to do the contract now instead of waiting?

A: When the staff came to me about getting something done, my team and I, we were eager to get something done, just for security. It's a blessing to be in this position, and it's also motivation to keep working, and to live up to that number and compete to be the best tackle in the league.

Q. Was there a thought about waiting to see what other tackles got paid in their contract years next year?

A: There were different negotiations, but at the end of the day, we decided to do what was best for me and my family (and) we decided to go with this deal.

Q. What was important to you in this deal?

A: I would say security was the biggest thing, guarantees, things like that. Especially with my history of ankle injuries and things of that nature. Playing offensive line, (there's) people falling on you every game, you want to be secure. You don't hope for injuries, but we know that's a thing that happens in this league.

Q. What does it mean to have the largest guarantee in the offensive line industry?

A: Like I said, it's a blessing. (It's) something that I worked hard for and something that I'm going to continue to work hard for to live up to that. It's a blessing for my family (and) my kids that I don't even have yet, but I'm excited for it and excited to be here for a while.

Q. Can you tell me about your journey, what you endured and how it helped you get to this point?

A: I think all of that helped me build my character. It's what I've been through, (the) different staffs, ups and downs as a player and honestly, it's the same mentality. Obviously, I'm paid now, I'm secure now, but I'm still working the same approach (as) when I wasn't performing well, and people didn't think I deserved to be here, so that's the same approach that I have now.

Q. Do you know what your first purchase is going to be?

A: Not yet we're going to figure that out though.

Q. You share an agency with Saquon Barkley, how closely did you pay attention to the Giants negotiations with him?

A: Honestly, not too closely. We have different agents, so my negotiations were separate. I was just more focused on what was going on with me.

Q. When did you start getting the idea that the deal was going to get done?

A: It happened a little bit after the season. We started talking about it a little bit and then things started to heat up after OTA's.

Q. The Giants have given a lot of big contracts to players this offseason and they couldn't get one done with Saquon Barkley. Do you feel for him?

A: Honestly, that's something I can't really control. My job is to just play left tackle and do my best to open holes and let him make plays. I'm glad he's back and hopefully he helps us out this year.

Q. Evan Neal is going through a lot of things that you went through your rookie year. How do you help him bridge that gap to get to where you are now?

A: Definitely. I was in that same spot, being drafted high in New York. Playing offensive tackle is not an easy thing to do as a rookie but I'm always in his ear (and) anything I can do to help him. We bounce ideas off each other, talk about different techniques (and) talking about rushes and I think he's going to be a good player for us.

Q. The years that you have on your contract is a large chunk of somebody's career. What about this organization made you want to be here for the long term?

A: We have a good core group of guys, especially the younger guys. I love the staff. This is the most – I said it last year in a few interviews (that) this is the most fun that I've had playing football in a long time so I'm excited to be a part of this organization and hopefully we can do some special things.

Q. As far as Saquon Barkley, do you think the running back position is undervalued?

A: I think that's something that I don't really have a lot of say over but I do think he's a great player. Obviously, he's explosive and like I said, I don't control that. I hope the best for him in his situation but all I can do is focus on being the best teammate that I can for him.

Q. How good is it to see that mostly everybody is locked up here for a long period of time?

A: I think it's good. Like I said, (we have a) good young group of guys. A lot of the guys are leaders (and) our team captains and I think that's good for the movement of where we're trying to go."

Q. We got the news on our way here. How did your teammates find out about your deal?

A: Some of the guys saw when I came (in) this morning with the fresh suit on, they kind of got the deal already. Especially some of my teammates, O lineman – Korey (Cunningham) and Tyre (Phillips) and that's the thing about our team, especially the O line group. It's a family. Some of those guys we're (happier) than I was. That's just the brotherhood we have and that's why I love playing for this team.

Q. You guys made the playoffs last year but how do you push forward and look to improve this year?

A: First, it's a clean slate. Obviously, we made some progress last year but that's over with. I think from an offensive line standpoint, protecting DJ (Daniel Jones) is the number one thing right now, being secure and opening holes for Saquon (Barkley) and whoever else is running the football. As a team, I think the division is a big thing that we focus on this year. We didn't do well in that last year, so winning some more of those games.

Q. How much pressure do you feel and what is your approach?

A: Like I said, it's the same approach honestly from when I was rookie and I wasn't playing well and people saying that I shouldn't have been here and stuff like that, it's the same approach. Like an 'I want to prove myself right' almost kind of deal, so I'm just going to continue to work and not let the outside things effect how I prepare, and hopefully that turns out a good result.

Q. Do you sense that from Daniel Jones as well? The same 'I want to prove myself to live up to this' kind of deal?

A: DJ is one of the hardest working guys in the building. I don't think – whatever his contract was, I don't think that would've changed him (or) how he approaches (the game) every day. I think that's what makes him a good quarterback and a chance for him to be a really great quarterback.

Q. How much did knowing that Daniel Jones is going to be here for a while make you want to be here long term as well?

A: Definitely. We've been through some tough times together and just to see him grow into the player that he is and knowing the potential that he has. I definitely want to be a part of that.

Q. Is there a different feel this year?

A: It's definitely a different feel. Security in the offense (and) coaching staff. We know the plays (and) we're not learning new installs. We understand how things are done and how (Head Coach Brian) Daboll wants us to play. Then the next step is just taking that forward and being more dominant on the field and being special.

Q. Do you sense the offense playing faster even though it's early?

A: Definitely but it's honestly a challenge because even though we've learned a lot of the install and stuff like that, (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka and (Head Coach Brian) Daboll they do a great job of creating new plays, different motions (and) different things – eye candy for the defense. Just trying to get the guys the ball in space to make plays, so that's exciting for us and it keeps us on our toes.

Q. Last season was successful, but it was gap between you and the Philadelphia Eagles. How do you close that gap?

A: I think that starts up front, honestly. If you watch a lot of Philly's games last year, they dominated on both sides with their front seven. I think we close that gap being more dominate in the trenches (and) being able to protect DJ to allow him to make the throws that he needs to and on the opposite side of the ball, our defenders putting pressure on the quarterback. I think that changes the outcomes of games.

Q. What's it like having Darren Waller in the huddle now? How's his presence?

A: In OTA's, we did a lot of individual work, so we didn't see a lot but just hearing from the guys and seeing some plays in team we did, especially in the red zone, like he's going to be a problem. We're excited to have him on our team. He's a great guy in the locker room, so I'm excited (and) looking forward to it.

Q. Do you think that you're the best left tackle in football?

A: That's the mindset (that) I have but I think there's more to prove. Just going back and watching film (from) last year, there's definitely some things that I can clean up to be a more dominant player to have that title but I'm still working every day to get there.
It’s his day. His contract and they are asking about Barkley.  
Tim in Eternal Blue : 7/26/2023 4:43 pm : link

RE: It’s his day. His contract and they are asking about Barkley.  
BLUATHRT : 7/26/2023 5:21 pm : link
In comment 16158543 Tim in Eternal Blue said:


So typical...
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