‘I have to step up’: Giants’ Andrew Thomas on preseason struggles

Andrew Thomas Giants
Andrew Thomas (78) has plenty to prove in 2021.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This very well could be classified as a make-or-break year for New York Giants starting quarterback Daniel Jones. 

He has the best arsenal of weapons to date as a pro entering his third season, including a healthy Saquon Barkley, an upgrade in receiving tight-end depth with the acquisition of Kyle Rudolph, and their biggest signing of the offseason in wide receiver Kenny Golladay.

Excuses are dwindling if he can’t produce more. However, the one major question mark that remains is the integrity of the offensive line with sights being set on left tackle Andrew Thomas after his performance on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

With Giants starters getting to see preseason action in the exhibition finale, Thomas was burned for 1.5 sacks, a number of additional QB hits, and was called for a holding penalty over 36 snaps. 

Not great for the No. 4 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, who was just the latest to be the piece of the offensive-line turnaround that general manager Dave Gettleman has yet to orchestrate despite it being his top priority upon his arrival after the 2017 season.

“There’s definitely pressure,” Thomas said (h/t NJ.com). “I put pressure on myself. I know I’ve been given this role. And I worked hard to be here. So I have to step up and do what I have to do.”

The 22-year-old has a checklist of the things that need to be improved on, at least portraying the kind of accountability needed to foster growth.

“There are some things I’ve got to improve on; my hand placement, staying wide on my set, and keeping the depth with the pocket,” Thomas said. “I think I made improvements, but there are a lot of things that I still need to work on. I’m trying to fix those things in camp, just hand placement and just being very consistent in my set.

“Sometimes I do it the right way, sometimes it might not be to my liking. I’m just trying to be as consistent as possible.”

While concern reigns supreme outside the organization, head coach Joe Judge remains confident that Thomas will take advantage of the organization’s patience with him.

“I think overall he’s done a solid job for us,” Judge said. “He’s going to be a better player a month from now, two months from now, at the end of the season.”