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Nice Terrell Thomas Article

Mr. P

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On December 21, 2009, just hours before the Giants took the field against the Washington Redskins for a critical Monday night NFC match-up, CB Terrell Thomas was looking through the official game day program when he got to the section listing the Giants players worth watching.


That’s when he saw red.


“I was ticked,” Thomas said about being omitted from the list of players to watch. “It was week 16, and I had four interceptions up until that game, and I felt like I had a pretty good year. I just felt like I deserved that recognition.”


Thomas, 6-0, 200 lbs., responded the only way he knew how. He punished the Redskins offense, finishing that game with six tackles (three solo), two passes defensed, and a 14-yard interception returned for a touchdown as the Giants trounced Washington 45-12 on national television.


“It was like there was a beast inside of me,” Thomas recalled of the anger he felt. “(The slight) made me realize that I still didn’t have the recognition, and made me even more determined to find it.”


It was hard not to notice the 25-year old Thomas’ determination and passion every time he set foot onto the field. From opening day right down to the end of last year’s disappointing 8-8 season, Thomas, who stepped in after Aaron Ross’ hamstring injury caused him to miss 11 of the 16 games, made sure that he never gave his coaches a reason to doubt that he could get the job done .


Thomas, who also wanted to prove to his peers that he was worthy of inclusion in the league’s elite cornerbacks, certainly made a good case for himself in just his second NFL season, finishing as the Giants team leader in tackles (101), pass breakups (16), and interceptions (5). Unofficially, he was thrown at just 48 times last season despite taking 98.3% of the team’s snaps on defense, and held opposing receivers to an average of 10.0 yards after the catch, giving up three touchdowns all season.


This was exactly the kind of player that Thomas always knew he was capable of being, even if others didn't believe in him.



Thomas’ path to the NFL started like a storybook. An all-American at Rancho Cucamonga High School, Thomas was recruited by the University of Southern California, which afforded him the perfect opportunity to not only shape his football future, but to also do it in front of his family and friends.


However, Thomas’ dream of becoming a big college football star started out nightmarish as he was injured four times, including three dislocated shoulders and a knee injury.


“I felt like God was trying to teach me something,” he said when looking back at the injuries. “I took it as a lesson and worked really hard not just in rehab, but also on my grades. Having football taken away from me made me appreciate it even more.”


In his senior season, Thomas finally enjoyed an injury-free year, posting numbers he knew all along he was capable of producing. As the starting right cornerback, Thomas finished his senior campaign with 45 tackles (31 solo), one sack, and 4.5 stops for losses. He also had three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, seven pass deflections, and four interceptions.


In pass coverage, only 29.8% of the balls thrown at him went for completions, and he allowed just 2.61 yards per pass attempt. And if that’s not impressive enough, in the Rose Bowl that year against Illinois, Thomas held his main assignment, Kyle Hudson, to no catches.


Those numbers in limited playing time represent what Thomas is all about, and that is making the most of whatever opportunities he’s given. Those numbers also drew the attention of several NFL teams, who viewed him as a lock-down cornerback with a hard-hitting tackling style who was especially effective inside of the box.


Thomas knew he was going to get his chance somewhere. And he was more than ready for it. However, his stock had fallen as some critics questioned his durability and whether his injury history had taken an early toll on his body.


Thomas was soon to prove a lot of doubters wrong.



When Thomas was drafted in the second round (63rd pick overall) by the New York Giants in 2008, he had mixed emotions.


On one hand, he was excited about having a chance to join one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. On the other, he was puzzled as to why the Giants wanted him despite having Corey Webster, a former second rounder who was a starter; Aaron Ross, the previous year’s first rounder who was also a starter; former Pro Bowler Sam Madison; R.W. McQuarters; and Kevin Dockery already on the roster.


Not knowing what his role would be on the team, Thomas decided to take matters into his own hands. Despite missing four weeks with an early season hamstring injury, when he was healed, Thomas, who was in search of his niche, would soon find it.


“I went to (Special Teams) Coach (Tom) Quinn and said, ‘I have to get on the field, so put me on everything,’” Thomas said. “I started making plays on special teams and then started earning snaps on defense where I made plays as well.”


Thomas was so good on special teams and in practice that by the end of his rookie season, he had been promoted to the starting nickel. He finished that season with 32 total tackles, one interception, three pass breakups, and 15 special teams tackles.


Despite his production in his rookie season, Thomas was still far from satisfied. Having been a starter in college, he had no doubt that he could be a starter in the NFL. All he needed though was a chance to prove himself worthy.



For as much as a competitor that Thomas is, one thing he never wants to see happen is a fellow teammate go down. Yet he also realizes that injuries are part of the game, and that things always happen for a reason.


So when Ross, the promising young cornerback and one of Thomas’ best friends on the team, developed a chronic hamstring problem last season, his absence from the lineup opened up the door for Thomas, who not only moved in, he did so with no plans to vacate the position any time soon.


Still as Thomas found success as the starter in place of Ross, he felt empathy for his teammate and shared in Ross’ excitement whenever there was positive news to share. “ I tried to give him words of encouragement because I was there once before,” Thomas said of helping Ross through his own dark period.


Thanks to their strong bond, the two teammates successfully put aside their respective egos and did what was best for the team. What was best for the team, Thomas said, was to support each other.


“As a defensive back, we all have love for each other,” Thomas said. “I knew it was tough on him, especially when you’re hurt and you come back and don’t have a role. But that had nothing to do with me. He understands it’s a business, and he was the first person to congratulate me when I got the starting job.”



Following a promising 5-0 start to their 2009 season, things suddenly began to take a turn for the worst for the Giants.


The defense began experiencing injuries, some of which were so critical that the team never recovered. There were also reports of dissent between the players and former defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan as the defense slowly collapsed.


As the 2009 Giants limped to an 8-8 season that left them outside of the playoff picture for the first time in four years, Thomas managed to be one of the few bright spots for the defense as no matter what happened, he was determined to persevere.


“It goes back to my injuries,” Thomas said of his inner drive. “My whole career, I’ve been a dark horse. I knew how good I was coming out of high school and going into college, but no one really got to see that.


“Even when I came here, all the talk was about (first rounder) Kenny Phillips; me, the ‘no-name’ second-rounder; and (third rounder) Mario Manningham. So I always felt like I had a lot to prove – and I still do.”


While Thomas enjoys the accolades that come with a job well done, at the end of the day, he said he has two goals.


“I play for respect. All the accolades are great, but I want my peers to say, ‘Ok, he can play. I respect his game.’ That is my main thing.”


His second goal is to make sure that whoever starts opposite of Webster in 2010 earns the job.


“Aaron is coming back and he wants to start just as much as I do,” Thomas said. “ I want to be able to compete and convince the coaches that if Aaron is going to get the job back, it’s not because he was hurt; it was because he was better than me.”



For as good as he was last season, Thomas is far from being satisfied, and plans to come back this season with a new attitude.


“I want to be a bully,” he said. “I’m one of the bigger corners in the NFL, so I want to demonstrate that I can run with the smaller wide receivers and do it all. I want to come up and hit running backs. I want to be a big corner that guys know will be physical, get in their face, and talk trash. I want my opponents to know that I’m a player.”


He also wants to be a leader, and thinks that given his personality, he can fill that role because he's secure enough in his abilities.


“If I see a young guy struggling, any advice that I know I can give, I will without hesitation. I don’t believe in holding onto information because a guy might be a better athlete than me because I know my determination and will as a player.”


His most important objective, though, is to re-earn his starting job and continue building upon what he started last season. That's why Thomas would just as soon forget about the numbers he posted last year and focus on what he ends up posting in 2010.


“Numbers are only good for the previous year,” he said. “I still have to come out here this year and prove I can be the guy all over again. This year, I want to challenge Corey (Webster) to get to guard the other team’s number one receiver. I also want to be a leader in the secondary.


"And," he added, "I want to do great things for the Giants organization on defense.”



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Awesome article... but I see more and more crap writing from journalists every day.


The Thomas article about Thomas talked about Thomas and what Thomas meant to the team and if Thomas had a drink every time Thomas was mentioned or Thomas was quoted, Thomas would have to go to the Thomas and Thomas rehab center.


Seriously, how do some of these people keep their jobs? :huh:

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We keep reading their articles


Awesome article... but I see more and more crap writing from journalists every day.


The Thomas article about Thomas talked about Thomas and what Thomas meant to the team and if Thomas had a drink every time Thomas was mentioned or Thomas was quoted, Thomas would have to go to the Thomas and Thomas rehab center.


Seriously, how do some of these people keep their jobs? :huh:

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Great article.....Thomas was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise piss-poor defense.


And he's right about being overlooked.....all the ink was reserved for Kenny Phillips and Mario Manningham.....it's like we didn't even have a 2nd round pick based on how much attention he received.


If our secondary stays healthy, and is coordinated properly, it could be among the best int he NFL.

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pat traina, the lady who wrote this article is one of the best giants beat writers out there. i dont really understand the criticism.



She writes "Thomas" too much, which is really redundant and amateurish.


How about a "he," a "Giants nickel corner" or "the former second-round pick?"

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She writes "Thomas" too much, which is really redundant and amateurish.


How about a "he," a "Giants nickel corner" or "the former second-round pick?"


Sephiroth speaks of a point that Sephiroth is correct about. Im glad Sephiroth brought up what Sephiroth did, because what Sephiiroth said was very true and Im glad Sephiroth said it.

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Damn, I sang Thomas' praises a couple months ago and all I remember hearing about from some people was his 100+ tackles meant too many completions his way (failing to recall all the times he stepped up in support of a less than stellar front 7). Anyway......well....damn....I should be writing these sports pieces. :rolleyes:

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ok i misunderstood what seph's beef was.


and i remember reading somewhere that TT's 5 ints was the most by a giants corner since sehorn.



i havent checked the stats but i know thomas had a very good season, and webster,thomas, and ross is a very nice trio to have at CB.

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