G Justin Pugh
Conference Call, September 25, 2015
Q: How do you think you did with your first start at left tackle?
A: I think I played well. There are obviously some things I can do better, some technique stuff that I have to work on, but I went out there and competed, fought hard, and Iím just happy to get the win. Everyone up front did our job last night.
Q: Is there a difference in the mood among the players after the win?
A: Yeah, everyone is definitely pretty happy today. It was a Thursday night game so guys can go see their families this weekend, which is nice. Itís something that weíve been so close the past two weeks to finally get over that hump, and to win the game is definitely huge. Hopefully itís the spark that gets us going and really sets the tone for this next part of the season.
Q: What do you view as being the difference between this and the last couple of weeks?
A: Our defense played outstanding. Obviously we start the game with nine points right off the bat, it was definitely demoralizing for them, and it was just a huge lift for us. We started fast in this game and I think we had some good drives throughout the game. I think we hadÖdrives, we picked up a first down, and again we have to finish better in the green zone.
Q: What about the running game? For the third week in the row you guys had peaks and valleys in the running game, do you feel the run blocking is where it needs to be or is there room for improvement?
A: Itís definitely room for improvement, there are places where we could have, you know some of those third and shorts we have to pick up, they had some movement, and those are the things that would have translated into us going over 100 yards. That second half of the fourth quarter, I think we could have done better in some of the run blocking areas. That would have gotten us into the 70 plays that weíre looking for and gotten us over the 100-yard mark that weíre looking for, so thatís where we have to finish stronger, in those areas.
Q: How much concern is there over the fourth quarter? Even though you won, it seemed like Washington had the ball a lot and they were coming back. Is there work still that needs to be done?
A: Definitely, I think, you can never be complacent in this league. I think we felt like in the first two games we put ourselves in position to win the game and we didnít. In this one, we made sure we had the, we had a pretty big lead in the fourth quarter, so itís something that we obviously have to finish better. You canít have a kickoff return and you have to end with the ball in our hands, so the offense has to pick up that first down, and thatís something that weíre going to continue to get better at and continue to work at.
Q: Tom Coughlin discussed the strategy that went into the throw on third down right after the two-minute warning, rather than run the clock, Eli [Manning] threw the ball. He said he wanted the offense to bare more responsibility to keep the ball in their hands and Iím wondering do you like that?
A: Yeah, I love that. I mean for us to go out there, we complete that throw, and the game is over. You have to be able to do those types of things and keep the defense guessing because you know theyíre putting nine guys down in the box every time. Itís tough to run when you have free hitters sometimes coming through. You have to throw the ball to keep the defense honest and obviously that play there we pick that up and itís game over.
Q: As an offense what are the challenges when youíre trying to run the ball in a game situation when theyíre bringing nine guys in the box? How can you have success in that situation even knowing that the defense is sort of gearing up for it?
A: Itís tough for them to fit. There are not enough gaps for all those guys to fit in, so really itís stopping movement at the line of scrimmage because a lot of times theyíre moving guys and trying to bring pressure over the top, so itís getting that running back through the line of scrimmage. A lot of times youíll see safeties donít know where to fit because theyíre not used to playing down in the box like that. Thatís where you get some of those big runs. We have to do a better job of handling movement up front and getting the running back through, on to a safety, and making them cause an error for their defense or a mental error.