Giants Andrew Thomas Struggling With Timing, Consistency Says Position Coach
If there is one thing that has held New York Giants rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas back from turning the corner, it's been the consistency with the timing of his hand punch and his setup in pass pro.
That's the latest assessment from Giants offensive line coach Marc Colombo, who said that Thomas hasn't quite been the disaster some have made him out to be.
“The consistency is the biggest deal,” Colombo said Wednesday. “We see it in spurts, but we have to see it consistently."
Thomas's issues have included struggling with inside pass rushes, but from a bigger perspective, the flaws in his technique--hand punch and keeping his feet underneath him--have also been a problem.
“I think everything's really with Andrew right now is a timing issue,” Colombo said.
“He's working hard, right to get this right. You know he's out there at practice, really trying to work on some things in terms of time and getting your feet set underneath yourself before you throw your punch."
According to PFF, Thomas remains the runaway leader in pressures allowed with 37. But Colombo said Thomas is making baby steps in his growth, noting that at times Thomas has some nice plays he puts on film, and then there are others where he doesn't.
“In terms of the consistency with Andrew, that's kind of the big issue right now,” Colombo added.
That lack of consistency is nothing new, especially for a new guy, especially when going against a veteran who understands how to watch film and use the little tidbits they pick up against a young offensive lineman.
“Usually when you get a young guy in there, it takes them, a little bit longer, to come along,” Colombo said.
Thomas, who held his own against some of college’s top edge rushers, has been in a whole new world since stepping onto an NFL playing field.
A couple of weeks ago, he mentioned how the veterans across from him are much more sophisticated in their attack because they do a lot more film work to identify the smallest details they can use to their advantage.
That process forces an offensive lineman to stay on his toes and make sure he’s not falling into habits that are easy to spot and exploit.
Given the sophistication of pass rushers, it also behooves the offensive linemen to study their opponents so that when they step out on the field, the technique that the offensive lineman worked on during the week doesn’t fly out the window in favor of survival mode.
“These guys are studying you all week, so anything that hurts up front, they're going to keep hammering you with it until you get the problem corrected,” Colombo said.
"You get some of those reps off the tape, and then defensive ends start attacking you a different way and kind of play to your strengths. So right now, we're trying to address that.”
Colombo added that there were no plans to give Thomas additional help out there, saying that there will be times when help can be given and others when it's up to him to survive by himself on an island.
He also said the coaching staff isn't ready to give Thomas a time-out to catch his breath.
“Anytime he gets beat, he doesn't dwell on it, Colombo said. "Now, if you had a rookie that dwelled on that type of thing and really got down and put his head down and wasn't up for the challenge, that's not the case with him.”
Overall, Colombo is bullish on Thomas' rookie season's direction and will continue to take.
“I feel like he's made strides over the past few weeks; it's just cleaning up, those two or three reps a game where the timing's off," he said. "And that's something, you know, we're working every day to correct. He’s ready for the challenge. I expect some good games coming here from Andrew.”