Kayvon Thibodeaux stated he has no anticipated sack whole for himself in his rookie season with the Giants. The exterior expectations are burgeoning, however it appears Thibodeaux — and the teaching workers — try to maintain his toes on the bottom and his thoughts out of the clouds.
On his first day on the sector in his first rookie minicamp, Thibodeaux and head coach Brian Daboll have been making jokes. The drill referred to as for the sting rusher, who was picked fifth total out of Oregon, to drop in protection and Daboll had a query.
“You assume you possibly can run with Saquon?’’ Daboll requested.
Running again Saquon Barkley, the 25-year-old veteran coming into his fourth season with the Giants, was not on the market, in fact. But Daboll’s level was made. You are within the NFL now and there will likely be offensive talent gamers, reminiscent of Barkley, for him to deal with. Not on this rookie camp, however quickly sufficient.
So, what was the response? Could he cowl Barkley?
“I simply laughed as a result of it’s like all these nice guys that now you’re going towards,’’ Thibodeaux stated. “It’s a unique stage. I’ve simply acquired to do every thing I can to maintain getting higher.’’
For now, Thibodeaux stands out because the marquee newcomer, his presence rising above the opposite 84 gamers attending this camp, both as a 2022 draft choose, an undrafted free agent or a participant invited on a tryout foundation. It just isn’t solely as a result of he was the primary draft choose within the new regime of Daboll and basic supervisor Joe Schoen.
The Giants did such in depth work on Thibodeaux main as much as the draft that the principals concerned virtually really feel as in the event that they know him by now.
“He’s an excellent, younger man,’’ Daboll stated. “Got a number of vitality. Even on the market, we had a walkthrough a short time in the past, he brings slightly little bit of juice. Good humorousness. I respect him.’’
It is already obvious Thibodeaux feels completely at dwelling within the highlight. He stated when he placed on his blue Giants jersey for the primary time — No. 5, after securing that uniform by making a $50,000 donation to kicker Graham Gano’s hand-picked charity — it nonetheless didn’t sink in.
“I felt like I’m not there yet,” he stated. “I feel like there’s still some hoops and some hurdles. There is still some prelims I’ve got to go through to be part of the team. But I don’t have words for it. It still hasn’t hit me. I feel like it’s going to hit me once we really get into it. I heard some music and I almost cried. I said, ‘Man, we’re really here.’ ”
The music that acquired to Thibodeaux, “Juicy’’ by The Notorious B.I.G., contains the refrain, “You know very well who you are.” If that certainly rings true for Thiobdeaux, the Giants might have added their subsequent nice move rusher. They view him as a terrorizer of quarterbacks, but additionally as a defender in a position to chase down working backs, an entire participant.
He stated his early examine of the playbook reveals that there are interchangeable items everywhere in the discipline. He will likely be requested to do many alternative issues for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and admitted, “I lick my chops’’ when he sees what the plan is for him. Just then, he threw in a speed bump by adding, “I just gotta keep making sure I get all the ins and outs of the game.”
The considerations about Thibodeaux have been minimal, so far as projecting him as an NFL prospect. His manufacturing in 2021 was not overwhelming — seven sacks, 12 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits — however he performed a lot of the season on a nasty ankle. It was extra about his character, his want and the place his values are, so far as soccer greatness versus constructing his model.
The Giants put within the work and decided that simply because Thibodeaux has star energy doesn’t imply he will likely be unable to remain grounded. He sounds bemused that a lot of the pre-draft chatter about him now’s so constructive.
“The narrative, for sure, changed,” Thibodeaux stated. “If you notice, everybody thinks I’m a good guy now, and it’s all funny, which is hilarious to me because I’ve been the same guy this whole time. I’m happy I get to be here with my team. I don’t have to focus on anybody any more. Now I can really just hone in on what I love to do.”
Turning his eyes to gaze out on close by MetLife Stadium, Thibodeaux didn’t play it cool after his first day on the sector. He took all of it in and exclaimed, “Are you severe? You know what I imply?
“For me, it’s a dream come true.’’