Giants veteran Kayvon Thibodeaux hopes to make the playoffs

Giants veteran Kayvon Thibodeaux hopes to make the playoffs

Kayvon Thibodeaux wants to beat his Giants teammates, who have endured persistent disappointment in recent seasons, as much as he does on Sunday.

The rookie outside linebacker won’t get too carried away, but he admitted to being considered on Friday The aftermath of a Colts win at MetLife Stadium. A win would send the Giants into the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.

“There’s still one more game, but not only to talk about all the work I’ve put in, but to talk about my team and the other teams that have come before me and the last four years that they’ve done, it’s a blessing.” Thibodeaux said. “Now that we’re here and we can do it together, I’m happy to be a part of it.”

The No. 5 overall pick out of Oregon in the 2022 draft has certainly been instrumental in the Giants’ push to the postseason, breathing life into a defensive unit that has become the soul of the team.

Kayvon Thibodeaux takes part in Giants practice on Friday.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

Along the way, he forced a game-winning fumble against Lamar Jackson — his first NFL sack of the game — in a Week 6 win against the Ravens. But Thibodeaux’s the actual departure happened two weeks ago, when he recorded 12 tackles, including a band sack on a touchdown return in the Giants’ win over Washington. For that performance, he was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

“Now I’ve got a target on my back,” he said. “Everybody watching already hated me, but now they really hate you, so I just have to keep going, keep getting better and keep being happy.”

The season has been a breakthrough for Thibodeaux, who suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee in the Giants’ second preseason game and has gradually improved his leg strength and quickness.

“We understand that when he’s moving at his peak, that’s a problem for the opposition,” outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins said. “He just improved the details. Literally where you point your finger can make all the difference. It sounds easy but it’s hard to do in the heat of the moment.

“These small details create production. He goes after those details and wants to be great at all those things that you love about him. It wants to be the whole package and that’s what really keeps showing up.’

Thibodeaux’s numbers include 43 tackles (28 solo), three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and three passes defensed in 13 games. His passing skills get the most attention, but Thibodeaux wants to be known as a complete player.

“I’ve always prided myself on being well-rounded, even outside of football, making sure everything is up to par academically and in the classroom,” Thibodeaux said. “In the life we ​​live there are many people who are proud of one thing. Everyone has something they’re proud of and for me, my college coach used to say, “This is how you do everything.” So I try to be proud in all aspects of my life.’

It’s that self-awareness that makes the Giants confident they’ve drafted not just a talented player but a leader.

“He’s got a lot of good qualities as a teammate, as a locker room guy,” Wilkins said. “As the season goes on, some guys get tired in those areas. He’s not one of those guys. He keeps getting better at those things. If we bring in a new guy, he understands the value of getting to know that guy. The closer we are as a team, the better we will play and he will play.”

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