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Former No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas feels right at home with the New York Jets, and despite the naysayers, he’s optimistic about the year ahead playing in the Meadowlands.
Thomas spoke with the Jets media on Wednesday and reflected on several topics including his decision to join New York this offseason and meeting the expectations
“They’re attractive for a lot of reasons,” Thomas said about the Jets, who were in the running to sign Thomas last season. “It’s a young, hungry team. You look at the talent on the team, with some of the guys who are here, a young, hungry quarterback, a very young and talented D line.”
“I haven’t performed exactly how I’ve wanted over the years,” Thomas said. “My production is not there. I’ve had a good year here or there. I’ve had good plays. Most importantly, I show up and try to be the best teammate I can be every day.”
Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 after Myles Garrett went to Cleveland and Mitch Trubisky to Chicago, Solomon Thomas entered the NFL with adept versatility and strength as both a pass-rusher and run defender at the defensive tackle position; however, a lack of size at 6-foot-3 and 295 lbs left Thomas playing small in the pros.
Thomas is keeping a chip on his shoulder after five seasons where his production didn’t match the expectations.
After racking up a meager 9.5 sacks since his drafting and playing for his third team after signing a one-year deal with the Jets, Thomas sees the opportunity to build up Gang Green’s defense as a concurrent rebuild of his own story.
“I try to bring championship-level effort, championship-level professionalism to a program every day I can. That’s what I’m here to do,” Thomas added. “I know my personal production can go up a lot. I know I can be a way better player in this league.”
“I’m excited to go off. I’m excited to go dominate.”
The hybrid player — willing to remain on the D-line or over the middle as a linebacker — stated that reteaming with former Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will provide the added boost toward one day reaching the Super Bowl, and even meeting those pre-draft profiles.
“I want to bring a championship-level culture here. That was a goal of mine. I know that is a goal of coach Saleh’s — to win a championship.”
“I know that’s what he’s doing here,” Thomas expressed. “He’s building to get to that level, to win a championship. That’s what we’re all trying to do here. I wanted to come here for a place I know is trying to achieve that level. I know we can do that here. That’s the goal.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela