Giants defensive back Terrell Thomas says that his teammate Prince Amukamara is “still a little wet behind the ears mentally” entering his third NFL season.
That’s not a reference to Amukamara’s infamous trip into the cold tub at Giants training camp last season, but Thomas’ way of explaining why he and cornerback Corey Webster are pushing the 2011 first-round pick to develop more quickly. Thomas wants to see Amukamara step up in terms of both production and leadership after two years plagued by injuries.
Amukamara missed 12 games in his first two seasons, but showed a fair amount of progress in 2012 as he moved into a starting role across from Webster. In Year Three, he’s aiming to take even more steps toward being the kind of cornerback the Giants hoped they were acquiring.
“I want to be the No. 1 corner on this team,” Amukamara said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “I feel like right now Corey is and my goal is to always just try to beat him out, and I think as soon as I establish myself as the No. 1 corner then hopefully become the No. 1 corner in the whole league. I know that’s going to take work but I mean, guys that came out of my drafting class are doing great, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, those are the guys I kind of compare myself to. I’m just trying to exceed all of them, I guess.”
The Giants hope that Webster rebounds from a poor season and that Thomas can make it back from a third ACL tear to be a productive member of the society, which makes it even more important that Amukamara become a reliably strong performer at one cornerback spot. If he can’t do it, the Giants might be back on the hunt for another high draft pick to give a cold dip in hopes of locking down a long-term answer at the position.