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Thomas Is Coming Around

After a rookie season that he describes as a "bad dream" second-year defensive end Bryan Thomas is looking to rebound and be a significant contributor to this year's Jets team.<p>

Thomas primary goal this off-season was to put on weight. Last year Thomas was too light and unable to play significant and meaningful snaps in the NFL where players need to maintain a certain weight so they don't get pushed around.

Thomas's ideal weight, that he and his coaches decided upon, for this season would be 265 pounds. Right now Thomas is at 275 pounds. Last year Thomas was somewhere in the 240 range, and was routinely being pushed around by bigger offensive linemen.

"Bryan Thomas is playing well," said Herman Edwards. "He has matured a lot with everything he went through last year, he's become a more mature player." Part of that maturity that Edwards is talking about is Thomas now knows what to expect, and what is expected of him.

Thomas sees the keys to success for himself in the upcoming season are to maintain his weight, and become more familiar with his opponents, neither of which he accomplished last year. "In college I watched film," he said. "But only when the coaches were watching, half the time I would fall asleep in the meetings. This year my time watching film has doubled.

"This year I know what to expect. I want to maintain my weight, I want to make an impact and help my team."

If Thomas can be a solid contributor and live up to his first round draft status it will only make their defensive line stronger. With Thomas the Jets have five first round draft picks on their line. John Abraham, Shawn Ellis, Chester McGlockton, Bryan Thomas, and rookie Dwayne Robertson. Herman Edwards says of his defensive line "We have some tremendous talent there."

… NOTES: Today the Jets lined up in their goal line formats for the first time all camp. "I thought practice was lively," said Edwards. We knew if we went goal line it was going to be a scrimmage. The offense moved the defense in the early session, in the second session the defense moved the offense.

The highlight on offense came when Lamont Jordan ran off tackle from inside the five to score the offense's only touchdown of the drill. The defensive highlight came when Sam Cowart blew through the offensive line and hit Jordan for a loss in the backfield.

… John Abraham was a big topic today at Jets camp. Last season Abraham had a problem with his breathing that required off-season surgery to correct. It actually got so bad that he would stop breathing in his sleep at night. "At night I would stop breathing, he said. "My girlfriend would have to punch me in the back to get me to breath again."

Abraham is hoping that this surgery will make him a better player than last year, and allow him to play in more of the defensive snaps.

"Hopefully the surgery will make me a better player, and allow me to play 90 to 95% of the snaps."

Last year Abraham's breathing problem would take away from his energy level during the games.

This year Edwards is also hoping to have his Pro Bowl defensive end on the field more snaps. "The more stamina he has, the more energy he will have in the fourth quarter," said Edwards.

If Abraham was limited in the amount of snaps he played last year and still recorded 10 sacks, imagine what he could do with more playing time, and the faster fieldturf that was recently installed in the meadowlands.

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