Despite the miscommunications, lackluster performances, and just bewildering play of the New York Giants’ secondary at times, one player has stood out among the rest.
How has Michael Thomas impacted the New York Giants’ defense?
Brought in to be a dynamo on the special teams, safety Michael Thomas, has earned himself a more prominent role on the defense. Starting free safety, Curtis Riley, has struggled as a starter in the NFL, continuously missing tackles and failing to pick the right angle to secure the ball-carrier.
Moving forward, we might begin to see Thomas fill his role, although he has played well as a slot-corner, recording an impressive interception in the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
When asked about the game and how DC James Bettcher has managed to get him involved, Thomas stated, according to Giants.com:
“I’m just glad that [defensive coordinator James Bettcher and defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo] keep finding ways to get me on the field,” said Thomas, a special teams co-captain who played a season-high 39 defensive snaps (53.4 percent) in last week’s victory over San Francisco. “I just thank God for the opportunity, and just want to keep taking advantage of it. We knew that the tight end is one of his top targets, period, but especially in the red zone. So it’s a big matchup for me. I loved that I was able to go out there and prove that I can make a play and seal it right before halftime so they don’t get points. That’s huge.”
Aside from Thomas’ impressive play, he’s much more than just a body on the field. He’s a voice during the game and a source of balance in the locker room. Thomas is a leader, one that holds his teammates accountable and does everything he possibly can to motivate them. Sometimes, just giving your all can be the deciding factor for the people around you in regard to putting your best foot forward.
“All we thought about and all we talked about was we weren’t where we wanted to be with the 1-7 start,” Thomas said. “But DG [general manager Dave Gettleman] and this team, this organization, brought in great character guys. So all the leadership and talented players from the previous organizations, all we talked about was staying the course. Keep working, keep believing, and when we come back from the bye week, one game at a time. Let’s try to have one-game seasons and win. And we’re just going to keep doing that. That’s the type of guys we’ve got in this locker room.”
Just reading these quotes can tell you that Thomas is a high-class contributor to the team. He appreciates the effort of the front-office and recognizes what they’re trying to do. His Stanford education would indicate his knowledgeable and well-spoken responses.
Moving forward, Thomas will be tasked with helping against opposing tight ends. The next few weeks will present major challenges, as the Giants will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz) and Chicago Bears (Trey Burton).
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