Entering the second season of his professional career, Giants rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is a young player firmly determined to step up his game.
The fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft had an ambitious, albeit undisclosed, sack goal for his rookie year, but he fell short of it.
NOW, Kayvon Thibodeaux resets its focus, hungry for many more bags and vastly improved performance in 2023.
Kayvon Thibodeaux’s rookie season was hampered early on by a hamstring strain, which kept him sidelined for the first two games. The injury setback may have had lingering effects as Thibodeaux didn’t register a sack in his first three appearances. In Week 6, he finally got one, but a disappointing five-game dry spell soon followed.
« When you go four or five games without a sack, you start to realize ‘Forget that number’, » Kayvon Thibodeaux explained, shifting his focus from pre-determined goals to instant on-field contributions. “What can I do to just be decisive? »
Kayvon Thibodeaux’s rookie campaign ended with four sacks in 14 games, 13 quarterback hits and 40 quarterback pressures for 409 snaps. Yet as he contemplates his second season, Thibodeaux wants more.
Its main objective? Finish your pass rushes with more success.
« There were a lot of times I had a good pass rush that I didn’t finish, » admitted Thibodeaux. He recognizes the caliber of his opponents, acknowledging how far they will go to protect their quarterbacks. His answer? “Keep refining the end of my rush, that third phase, and make sure I start converting them. »
After his rookie season, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale advised Kayvon Thibodeaux to strengthen his legs and core, pointing out areas for potential growth. The Giants list Thibodeaux at 117kg, but the player insists he is stronger after participating in the offseason program, and hopes to see that pay off in 2023.
However, Thibodeaux is taking a different approach to his personal goals this season. After his experiences as a rookie, he chose not to set a specific sack goal.
“I had a number on it last year, and I understood that the season is so long that you have to do it per game,” he said. Instead of statistical targets, Thibodeaux plans to focus on impact, contribution and, above all, winning. “If I can make impactful actions like I was able to and still win, I mean, nobody will ever remember [du total du sac], is not it ? As long as we win, as long as I continue to play well, to play for my teammates, I think I will be good. »
In this way, Kayvon Thibodeaux has his eyes firmly fixed on his second season in the NFL, eager to progress, improve and, above all, make a difference for his team.