Terrell Thomas' injury in last season's second preseason game against the Chicago Bears was perhaps the team's most devastating injury in an offseason that included the loss of several other key players. However, the New York Giants persevered through it all, and went on to win their second Super Bowl in five seasons. While speaking at his own youth football camp, Thomas addressed how he felt after his injury last preseason.
"It was a big-time situation for me. I had contract talks on the horizon, I was picked to really break out that year, so it was tough. A lot of hard work went in throughout the lockout. It was a time to get ahead, but you take everything as a lesson, and that is what I did. I feel I'm a lot stronger as an individual, as a man," Thomas said.
With the last year's extremely up and down season, Thomas became a forgotten man in many circles. The fifth-year veteran out of USC actually led the Giants in tackles in 2010 and was looking to have a Pro Bowl caliber season in 2011. Although his replacement, Aaron Ross, played relatively well in Thomas' absence, General Manager Jerry Reese decided to let Ross leave via free agency and resign Thomas to a 4 year/ $28 million deal.
Thomas' return to the team should provide a needed boost to a Giants' secondary that looked bad at times last season. However, although Thomas is expected to be the starting cornerback alongside Corey Webster, there is stiff competition for the position heading into training camp. Second year player Prince Amukamara recently had this to say regarding his goals for this season:
"I wouldn’t say ‘start over,’ ” Amukamara said. “Just ‘keep going.’ I still have a job to win and that’s my mentality, to come in and be one of the starting cornerbacks.”
Thomas was not brought back to the team to play in a back-up role, but he does have to prove that he has fully healed from his torn ACL before the team will anoint him as the starting cornerback in training camp. While addressing the media, Thomas talked about the role he expects to play for the team this season:
"I've said I'm the starter, and they brought me back to be the starter, and that is the mindset I have. I'm not going to go in saying, 'Oh, I want to compete for a job.' No, I'm the starter," he said.