Guard Justin Pugh
June 14, 2017
Q: How come you havenít been able to practice?
A: I just got a little tweak in my back. They're holding me out as precaution. That's something you donít want to try to press too hard right now during minicamp. We got things to look forward to.
Q: Nothing youíre worried about as far as training camp?
Q: Do you think the o-line as a whole, is taking to heart the idea that you've been the weak link?
A: I think we know that. I think thatís been a theme in every season that Iíve been here. So, obviously going out there and keep working on what we did last year. We added some pieces to the offense that will help aid the offensive line. So thatís exciting. Iím excited about this group. We got a bunch of guys that are willing to work hard and Coach Solari is getting everybody right. So, it going to be better, weíre definitely going to see an improvement.
Q: Have you done anything different over the offseason in order to get better?
A: A lot of guys got into some boxing. I know Coach Solari talked about working on getting your hand speed up, and things of that nature. But at the same time, offensive line play is still offensive line play. So, you still have to work on those fundamentals that are going to make you a successful offensive lineman.
Q: Who did the boxing?
A: I know Ereck Flowers did it, I did it myself, Bobby Hartís done it. I know Weston [Richburg] and John Jerry went out to the o-line performance out in Arizona, which some guys do. So, everyone is working hard, everyone knows. I mean, itís our livelihood, so itís not like weíre coming out here not trying to work hard, or not trying to be successful, because then you donít have a job. Itís not for the lack of effort, that no one is going to go out there and not be successful.
Q: Youíve done the MMA in the past, but boxing is a little different?
A: Yeah, itís incorporated into that too. Like Greco-Roman stand up wrestling is some of the stuff Iíve been doing as well and some of the stuff Iíve been doing for the past few years. It's really just preference, how guys feel they can get ready to go out there and be successful during the season. So I know guys do what they want.
Q: Did you do it with Ereck and Bobby?
A: No, we all just kind of had our own guys that we worked with. I think it's tough to do boxing as a group. You donít want to just be sitting on the bag, hitting that heavy bag, having that one-on-one instruction is probably the best way to do it and I think thatís how we've done it.
Q: What have you seen from Ereck?
A: He's working his butt off. He stayed up here, he's been in there every day. He's one of the first ones over here in the morning. So, Iím excited for what's he's going to put in there. He's definitely worked, I couldnít say this is the hardest he's worked, but from my perspective, he's been there every day putting in the work. So, heís ready to go.
Q: The two tackles are really young. Do you look at that also and say that the growing pains they had that now itís time to get going here?
A: Yeah, I mean thatís a little bit above my call, but I mean, those guys have played football. Now it's time for us to go up as a unit and be five guys that go out there and play and play our best football this year. Thatís how we have to look at it. It canít be a fragmented, just the tackles, just the guards, just the center; it has to be all five of us playing better and more a cohesive unit, and thatís what is going to make us successful.
Q: You guys have been together for some time now, is that helpful? Communication wise?
A: Yes. I think, I always say this, from the outsiderís perspective, looking at the offensive line, you're like, Ďyou played right tackle, why canít you play left tackle, or why canít a left tackle snap a football?í But the offensive line is one of those units that have to be in cohesion, or I canít think of the right word for it, but that's something that I think definitely comes into play. That trust factor, that knowing where that guy next to you is going to be. Me and Ereck playing next to us, going into our third season, we're definitely going to be at our highest level.