The New York Giants were very well positioned when it came to their top two picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. There were several good choices on the board when their pick came in fifth overall, and it seemed like they couldn’t Not improve their team.
Fans were instantly thrilled when outstanding Oregon defender Kayvon Tebodo was announced as Joe Schoen’s first pick as GM for the Giants. Thibodeaux sat at the helm of most of the big boards agreed for most of the 2021 season and the Giants desperately needed help with an anemic quick pass that couldn’t get out of court when it really mattered.
But while Tebodo was widely seen as one of the two or three best players in the 2022 class for most of the 2021 season, his stock appeared to dip during the recruitment process. This was largely driven by a general perception that Thibodeaux’s big personality might limit his focus on football. In particular, a highly conscious press conference at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine threw many observers the wrong way.
However, if successful writers expected the novice to be a rocky singer in coaching, they were disappointed.
Thibodeaux has been all in business since the camp started.
“I mean you have to know how to segment. There is a time and place for everything,” Tibodo said on Saturday. “So, when we’re in the field, it’s all about business, and now it’s a training camp. We are preparing for a long journey.”
Thibodeaux at Combine said there wasn’t anything coaches could tell he didn’t already know. He added that he is a student in the game and that his own tape tells him what he needs to improve.
So far, this has been his approach to the rookie bootcamp, where he has identified weaknesses and worked to improve them.
“Now it’s about getting everything together,” he said. “When you’re at home to train, hitting the bags and doing the exercises is one thing. And once you really start to get into that game mode, you have to start putting it together with playing with the positions and what you need to accomplish.
“You always want to keep getting better, and no matter how hard you work, you still haven’t reached your peak. So, for me to keep sharpening my tools.”
Thibodeau also said that quarterback coach Drew Wilkins emphasized that “good is not enough”.
Fortunately for the fifth overall pick, he has a pair of teammates also drafted into the top 10 to train against in Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal.
“Oh, it was cool. Not just him, but Andrew Thomas. They are as a unit. I’m able to go back and forth. You never—no plays. Everyone asks me, ‘What’s the difference between now and I mean college and the NFL,'”? It’s like, ‘You have to be one hundred percent and have movement in every game, you can’t survive.’ “Just facing both, and Evan especially is good to keep growing and sharing information now and then,” Tibodo said.
There was a lot of excitement among writers and fans in the camp regarding the pressure that Tibodo, Ellerson Smith and the rest of Wink Martindale’s defense were able to put on attack.
For his part, Tibodo poured a little cold water on the excitement, and asked the stewards not to read too much into playing the lines in shorts and T-shirts.
“For the whole frontline, you really have to judge when the sanitary pads come out,” he said. “Because there’s a different kind of play. We can’t really be bullshit. We can’t use our moves, and we have to hold up against the quarterback. I’d rather lose a rep than be yelled at by (coach Brian Dabul) Dabbs. So we try to stay out of the middle, And we do that. And we want to keep everyone healthy.”
“I’m so excited [for pads to go on],” he added. “There are so many things like speeding up passes that, as a defensive guy, you can’t do without pads. The offender has loose-fitting shirts that you can pull on. Now it will be more than just a fair game. I’ll be able to use all the moves I’ve been working on.”
And it seems to be more about the process than the results for Thibodeaux. He told reporters he’s more interested in executing his swipe-passing techniques than coming up with a unique ball game that can be posted on Twitter.
“For me, to me honestly, I don’t really count the sacks. I count the moves. So, it’s all about culling at the end of the day. Clearly quitting is part of the execution, but for now, I just want to get better and make sure that things are Small is good during these rushes.”
It is a very mature and self-aware perspective from the novice. A good process will eventually lead to better and more consistent results. Doing the little things well will prevent opponents from exploiting his flaws when things really matter. Because of this, Thibodeaux was hard on himself. But it’s all about knowing himself and his weaknesses and supporting them when the midfielder isn’t his teammate and actually being able to hit him.
“As much as I look at how do I value myself? I value myself for executing the moves,” Tibodo said. “Well, today I didn’t get the best execution on the moves I wanted, so it wasn’t a good day. Even though I’ve been working hard and got – I probably got the quarterback a few times – I still really like to sharpen it and commit myself to a high standard.”