Terrell Thomas excited as Giants close camp
Tom Coughlin didn’t waste a lot of time talking to the Super
Bowl-champion New York Giants after their minicamp ended.
His comments Thursday lasted roughly just over three minutes,
and the advice was the same he has given for decades. Enjoy the
next six weeks, work out, lift some weights and be ready for the
start of training camp July 27 at the University at Albany.
Of course, there was the obligatory stay-out-of-trouble warning,
which this team probably didn’t need in the wake of tackle David
Diehl’s arrest on Sunday for impaired driving.
After the meeting, many players rushed to their lockers, changed
Even though he was leaving, too, cornerback Terrell Thomas
wasn’t in a hurry. Being back was fun after missing all of last
season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
While he received a Super Bowl ring, not playing for a year was
”I have a different motivation, a fire that is pushing me more
than any of these guys,” Thomas said. ”I missed the whole year. I
don’t have time to hang out in the weight room. I am always working
out and trying to get better in some fashion because once you lose
football, you get so much time to reflect on what you could have
been doing or how you could have gotten better.
”It pushes me.”
The 27-year-old Thomas seemingly was destined for stardom in
2011, coming off consecutive seasons in which he led the Giants in
tackles, interceptions and passes defended. It all changed in the
second week of the preseason, though, in a XX-XX rout over the
Chicago Bears. Thomas suffered a major knee injury on a play in the
closing seconds of the half and saw his season end.
Surgery and rehabilitation would follow, and Thomas even faced
the prospect of free agency after the season before re-signing with
the Giants. He took part in the offseason training program and
attended the minicamp, although the Giants refused to let him take
part in the team drills, which meant not going head to head with an
”I tried to simulate as much as I could on the sidelines,”
said Thomas, who insists his knee is fine. ”Obviously it’s not the
same unless you are guarding someone. I have time to get my feet
wet. The biggest thing is I trust (my knee) right now to throw it
in the dirt. I’m not hesitant at all, I just need more reps,
running around and putting my body in different situations you
can’t put yourself in on the side.”
Thomas plans to spend the next month back home in California
working out with former USC quarterbacks Carson Palmer, Matt
Leinart and Matt Cassel, as well as former Giants receiver Steve
Smith, who he has worked out with for years. Thomas was a two-time,
second-team All-Pac-10 selection while with the Trojans.
”I can’t wait to start working with him,” Thomas said of
Smith. ”He’s a great competitor, a guy who I have battled with
since I was 18. It will be good to see him again.”
Thomas admits there is an adjustment period under way. The New
York defensive system is the same, but some terminology is
different. The one thing that hasn’t changed is his belief that he
is the starting cornerback along with Corey Webster. Aaron Ross
took over after Thomas was hurt, but Ross signed with
There is depth at the position. Prince Amukamara, the team’s
first round draft pick in 2011, is back after an injury-plagued
rookie season, along with Michael Coe and Justin Tryon. New York
also selected Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech in April’s third
”I just can’t wait to compete with them,” Thomas said. ”We
are all rooting for each other. Obviously, I have said I am the
starter. I feel I proved myself the last two years. The biggest
thing I have to do is come back and return to my old form, and I
have been working my butt off in the offseason to do that.
”In July, we’ll see.”
Thomas expects to be on the field with the first unit July 27,
with no limitations. And he believes this secondary has the most
depth the Giants have had in years. That’s saying something
considering New York has won two of the last five Super Bowls.
”If everyone capitalizes and we all work together,” he said,
”I think we can be a great secondary.”
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was reluctant to assess
Thomas at this point, other than to say he was mentally sharp.
”He is in our plans,” Fewell said. ”We have a backup plan in
case he is not ready, but he is heavily in our plans. And we’ll
have to wait until Albany to see which plan we go with. Like
anything we do we have a Plan A and a Plan B.
”And he is in Plan A.”
NOTES: Coordinator Kevin Gilbride says running back David
Wilson, the Giants’ first round draft pick, might be the most
explosive player on the offense. ”It’s kind of exciting to see.
Whether he can learn – there is a lot of learning going on and you
can see the smoke coming out of his ears and his eyes going around
in different directions,” he said. ”There is a long way to go,
but if you can tap into it, he can give you some excitement. I
don’t know if we’ve had that kind of guy.” … DT Markus Kuhn, the
seventh-round, German-born draft pick, could not take part in camp
because he did not have a work visa. … The team is encouraging
fans to register by June 19 for the Giants Run of Champions 5K June
24. It will benefit the Giants Foundation, which assists
youth-related charities throughout the greater New York area.