Joey Thomas Q&A

Cornerback's hard work this off-season pays off

Cornerback Joey Thomas begins training camp on Friday in the starting lineup at cornerback. Thomas is entering his second season in the NFL after getting selected in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Thomas was slowed by an injury during training camp last year, which hurt his chance to win the left cornerback position. He played in 15 games, but did not start. This off-season, he has remained in Green Bay to take part in the team's off-season workout program, mini-camps and additional training sessions. Because of his off-season involvement and progress, the coaches feel that he is ready to start ahead of Ahmad Carroll, who started 11 games opposite Al Harris last year.

Here are some of Thomas' responses to recent questions from the media:

Q: What were some of your off-season goals this year?
JT: I'm just continuing to do the things that I've been trying to focus on this whole off-season. Just work hard. That's all you can do. If things work out, they work out. As long as I put my best foot forward and compete, and make plays every day, that's all I can do.

Q: What adjustments have you made to prepare for training camp compared to last year?
JT: I have a year under my belt, so that helps tremendously, but I really haven't. I just continue to work. The big thing is as long as you work hard positive things happen. That's all I'm trying to do. Last year when I came in, I worked hard, but it was different. Now I have a better idea of what it takes to be successful, having that year under my belt. I worked hard last year, but this year the biggest difference is working smartly. Working smarter and just being a smarter player, and understanding the weaknesses of the defense and knowing where you might be vulnerable, and playing to your coverage. Sometimes you can't stop everything, but as long as you stop what you're supposed to stop, that's all you can do.

Q: How do you like defensive coordinator Jim Bates' new scheme?
JT: I love it. It's great. It allows you to just go out there and play, and that's what I'm doing.

Q: Are you more relaxed now, knowing that you can win the starting spot?
JT: That's the encouraging thing to me to know that coming in it is up in the air. But to me, it's the same mentality. As long as you go out there and continuously climb that mountain and continuously get better, that's all you can really do.

Q: How big was the June minicamp for you?
JT: I think it was a huge step, a step in the right direction. I just want to continue to take those steps in the right direction. I'm continuing to climb the mountain, and that's all I'm trying to do.

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