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After a roller-coaster rookie season in the NFL, Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas appears to be off on the right foot as a second-year pro.
As New York progresses through training camp under second-year head coach Joe Judge, Thomas -- the 2020 NFL Draft's No. 4 overall pick and the first offensive tackle/lineman selected -- is locked in on improvement.
"Just being more confident in my set, understanding my landmarks, where I have to get to, understanding who I'm going against and understanding the different protects," Thomas said this past week. "Knowing where I have to be, and I put myself at a position."
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder from Georgia is a pillar on the Giants' offensive line now and going forward -- especially as a pivotal third year for quarterback Daniel Jones awaits. After starting 15 of 16 games in 2020, Thomas enters Year 2 with needed experience.
"I think one thing about Andrew is he's always the same person," Judge said. "That's one thing -- he's very, very steady. Obviously, last year as a rookie -- like all rookies -- there's definitely a learning curve, and that learning curve includes having to manage the external expectations and noise. But I'll say for Andrew -- one thing he's done a really good job of is really buying into just focusing one day at a time and having a narrow focus, and understanding what the goal on hand is for that day. He's a very conscientious person, he's a really good teammate, he's a very hard worker.
"You definitely see some of the growth that he showed last year showing up. But then again, like all other players, it's early in training camp and there's a lot of fundamentals that we have to constantly work on with all of our players to building in that muscle memory that we've lost over this time away. He's no different from any other player in that regard, although he works extremely hard at it and every day he flashes several things and you say, 'OK, that's why this guy was such a gifted athlete growing up.'"