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Giants Now: Kayvon Thibodeaux joins 'Good Morning Football' to talk Wink, Parcells & more


Kayvon Thibodeaux discusses rookie season, Bill Parcells & more on GMFB

After a solid rookie campaign, outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux is ready to take his game to the next level in 2023.

Thibodeaux recently joined NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football' to discuss a wide variety of topics, including his thoughts on his rookie year, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the recent visit from Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells and much more.

"Wink talked about it kind of in our closing meeting, but he looked at me and he told me that this year could be a year to be like a Kobe year in a sense that, if I put the work in, I'll be able to kind of ascend my game and be a guy that the team kind of leans on," Thibodeaux said. "But I definitely do feel like there's more pressure on. I don't think it's gonna really affect me, but I do definitely know that it's a big year for me and if I do what I have to do, I'll make big gains...

"(Kobe year) really just means grind. At the end of the day, football is football. The game is going to take care of itself, but everything that I can control to continue to ascend myself into the player that I want to be as far as my training, as far as my body, as far as knowing the game and as far as making sure that I'm on top of the playbook and everything else. Then even bringing my teammates along as far as rookies or the events and kind of creating that chemistry among us."

Here are more takeaways from the 22-year-old's appearance on NFL Network:

On his rookie season:

"Rookie year, I set such high goals for myself and I wasn't really able to meet them. When you go four or five games without touching the quarterback, it starts to, you know, you question... but I stuck to the script and I ended up getting better towards the end of the season. And now I just realized that with a fast start, I can start to really accomplish those goals."

On the recent visit from Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells:

"It's funny. I had one conversation with him and we talked about football. I think that what he said to me was, well he asked me a question. He said, 'What is the worst position for a defensive end to be in?' I was kind of confused because that's kind of an open-ended question, but I just said 'Past the quarterback,' right? He stood up, he gave me some dap because he said I had the right answer. But that just goes to show that over how many years he's been coaching and now, the new day and age, football is still the same. So, it was amazing to see him. He's still sharp as a tack.

On defensive coordinator Wink Martindale:

"Wink is definitely a player's coach. When you talk about defense, I think he's a mastermind, alongside the rest of the assistant coaches. They really know how to draw it up and they know how to utilize the players that they have. And now me, really taking my second year, really jumping in. Knowing the defense, knowing the ins and outs of the game and the situations that an NFL game brings, and just being able to really be versatile. I think Wink, he's a hard ass as I call him, just because he knows what he wants and he wants you to kind of bring that level, match his intensity and he brings it every day."

On his first annual youth football and cheer camp:

"I think it's actually amazing that one, the city is receiving me with open arms. But two, that we have a lot of people that want to volunteer and be involved. I think the best part about what we're doing is that it's not only a football camp, but it's like you said, a cheer camp. And then we're also adding in a mentorship aspect of it where we're going to have different coaches, different former players, and even community leaders come out and teach the kids a little bit more because obviously, football is the carrot on a stick for the kids. But once they kind of see people that they look up to, once they kind of see those mentors really buy back into them like I had mentors buying to me, I think it'll be really powerful in their future and powerful for them just to see what they can be outside of football and really start to get that knowledge and confidence and wisdom from the people that came before them."

On the Giants being NFC East underdogs this season:

"It's been good for me. I like to lay low. I'm happy that people are counting us out because that gives us more time to just work. We don't have to answer those questions, we don't have to worry about everybody looking at us. We can just keep our head down and grind. We love being underdogs, right? Because that always gives us that story, that momentum to really work and to really go after what we want."

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