G Justin Pugh
Conference Call, September 4, 2015
Q: Do you want to talk a little bit about how exciting it is to kind of get going for real here and start looking at the Cowboys?
A: Itís definitely exciting. Finally through the preseason and now itís time to get to the real thing. Itís going to be a great game Sunday night, and Iím excited. Guys are excited, definitely.
Q: What do you take [away] from the preseason as an offensive line?
A: We did some good things. We had some good drives, you knowó every game we worked on something and had something positive to take away from it. So we have to get all these guysó everyone is healthy right nowó so we have to get a good week of practice in and go out there and have a good game on Sunday.
Q: This is really, I think, the first time in your career that youíve had a healthy offensive line going into the opener. What kind of a difference does that make in the mentality?
A: The communication, the trust is there. Youíre not playing next to a guy that you havenít played next to before, so itís definitely something that is definitely a huge positive for us. We donít know whoís exactly going to be slotted where as of right nowó obviously that will shake out in the next few days, but itís definitely good. Itís a common factor that we have the same five up front that weíre used to.
Q: A lot of the talk about the offense in the preseason was that at times the passing game was out of sync. Is this offense maybe more ready for the regular season than people may think?
A: Yeah, for sure. I think you get some guys back there and get them all on the same page. Some guys have missed a little bit of practice time and that may have thrown some things off, so I think weíre going to just keep getting better and better and weíre going to get this thing rolling. I think with the way we finished last year, Iím definitely excited with what weíre going to get done in this coming season.
Q: What kind of advice did you give to Ereck Flowers for a rookie to go out there and start at tackle in his first game?
A: You know, I started my first game ever [against the] Cowboys, Sunday Night Football, so I told him itís going to be an electric atmosphere. Itís definitely going to be something that heíll never forget. But just to go out there and calm his nerves down and go out there on that first play and just hit somebody, kind of shake off all those jitters, and just settle in and get ready to play one hell of a game.
Q: Whatís the biggest challenge that a rookie tackle has to face throughout that first season?
A: Heís probably not going to have experienced a place as loud and as electric as Dallas Cowboysí Stadium. I mean, I didnít play in the SEC, so I didnít get to experience anything like that, but you know, that stadium was insane. That first 100 thousand people with the roof closedó definitely a loud atmosphere, so thatís going to be a lot right in the beginning. Because Dallas, they put on a show that first game, so they try to put like fireworks and cheerleaders running aroundó you have to make sure you lock it in, so thatís something Iím going to let him know because I went through the exact same thing.
Q: He [Ereck Flowers] doesnít seem like the kind of guy who would lose his concentration over something like that.
A: Yeah, for sure. He definitely is a very focused guy. I can already tell heís getting ready to go. Heís sitting in the cold tub right now.
Q: How different is it though as a rookie to go from the preseason to the regular season? You know, he [Ereck Flowers] came through a preseason where it seemed like he played pretty well. Is he going to see a lot of different things now that the games are real?
A: Well, obviously the preseason games are still real, and theyíre still guys that are starters out there that heís going against, so he definitely got some good reps and itís definitely great for him to get that experience. Itís going to be a fun year for himó heís going to see some things that he hasnít seen before and heíll grow and get better and thatís what weíre looking forward to.
Re: transition from playing tackle in college to the NFL
A: Oh yeah. I mean, itís definitely a tough transition, but I think that he [Ereck Flowers] is more than capable of handling it and heís going to be fine.
Q: What about your transition? Now that youíve had four games at left guard, how do you assess how you did this summer?
A: Iím excited. Iíve gotten better every game. Iím learning, Iím seeing different things and ways to attack opponents at the new position. So Iím definitely excited of whatís in store for me this season. I know I just want to get out there and start this thing off on the right foot. We have to have a big week coming upó have to have a great week of practice and preparation. I know the guys are looking forward to it and itís going to be an exciting game.