G Justin Pugh
August 7, 2015
Q: You’re like the ironman of the offensive line now.
A: If at the end of the season I’m still standing, then yeah.
Q: Where’s your level of concern with that?
A: You’d love to have those guys out there. It’s tough, you never know with injuries and what’s going to happen with some of those guys. So getting them healthy, getting them out there is the most important thing right now. We’d love to have those guys, a lot of them are starters. We want to get that comradery going, so it would be great to get them out there. But I want them out there if they’re healthy, not if they’re going to re-injure themselves or make whatever injury they have worse.
Q: I’m sure you saw or have been told about Shaun O’ Hara’s tweet. What did you make of that?
A: I talked to Shaun [O’Hara], and Shaun’s a great guy. I think he wants to be in that [offensive lineman] room. He cares about this organization, and I think it’s just frustration. I think a lot of guys would maybe feel that way—if there’s guys not playing. I think he’s looking out for us as much as we are. If he was in that room, he’d be saying, “Hey guys, we want to get you back on the field as quick as possible, so we can get better because the goal is to win” and we’ve got to have those guys out there to win some games.
Q: You spoke with him last night?
Q: Did you reach out to him or was he calling around?
A: It was a text. He just shot me a text letting me know what happened and I respect him for that, and I respect Shaun. I respect all those guys that used to play here. Obviously, if you have four projected starters, if you include Will [Beatty]—he has a pretty serious injury. You would love to have those guys out there and to get them involved in the mix and get this thing going. Start building that gel, that comradery, it would be huge. We hurt not having those guys out there for sure.
Q: Did he apologize?
A: He didn’t apologize, I think what he said, he stood by it. It’s something where, like I said, I don’t want to get into a ‘he said, she said,’ whatever the case may be. But we want to get those guys out there and get them healthy and win games—that’s it on that.
Q: You had said that you looked at film of that group that Shaun played with. Have the other offensive lineman also shared in watching some of that film?
A: Yeah, I think me and Weston [Richburg] were two guys that got in there and watched film this offseason. He was probably the first one that got in there and was watching film on those guys, and trying to emulate the way they played the game and the way they carried themselves, and the professionalism that they had. It was huge. Then I hear other guys like Schwartz talking about how when he was in Carolina, they used to watch the Giants offensive line because they were the standard in the NFL. So those are just a few things where I know people respect the way they played the game. When they say something, you definitely have to respect it, and take it and try to use that as criticism or (constructive) criticism to get better and get out there, because at the end of the day, no one wants to lose or have a bad offensive line. We’ve got to get out there and perform.
Q: Is there a point where you need to be a guard, and all these injuries become difficult because you’re all over the place?
A: No, I think being on the left side still—I’m working on that set, I’m working on that punch on that side. I do sometimes in individual get some guards reps in there as well. I want to play wherever they need me to play. Right now, it’s left tackle, and I want to go out there and show them that I can play left tackle. If there comes a time where they need me to play there, I’m ready to go and I think that’s the thing for everybody.
Q: Can all these injuries help in the sense that, Coach Flaherty is going to see what he has in everybody?
A: Yeah, because guys are getting chances right now. If someone’s not playing and they’re not out there, that gives a chance to another guy. Adam Gettis can show what he has got. We’ve got rookies, young guys trying to get some reps. Bobby Hart, Sean Donnelly, Eric Herman—another guy that I came in with that’s trying to get some reps. So that’s huge for those guys. When you can show coach what you have and this is a big opportunity. Coming up next week is even greater because we’re going to play Cincinnati and we get to get two practices—22 mods, coach has been talking about. It’s exciting, I’m happy for those guys.
Q: What are your expectations for next week in Cincinnati?
A: I never did a joint practice before. I’ve only heard from the guys before that they would fight the Jets every time that we did a joint practice with them. I’m sure it’s going to be a heated practice, it’s going to have that game intensity. I kind of would compare it to a Senior Bowl when you’re there and everyone is trying prove a point. They’re going hard, even in practice. Sometimes when you’re going against your own teammates, you may pull up a little bit and not want to hurt somebody. I feel like if you’re going against someone, it’s going to be live action when we’re going out there and playing Cincinnati—as close as you can get to a game without being in one.
Q: Has Coach spoken to you guys about that, I know he has frowned upon your fights here?
A: Yeah, definitely. I think at the same time, we’ve got to go out there and we’re at work—a cohesive unit and we’re getting better. We’re not going the destructive route and starting fights and that stuff.