G Justin Pugh
Postgame vs. Jets, December 6, 2015
A: I keep saying it, they’re always close games. We’ve got to learn how to close them out and we’re going to learn from it. At some point, we’ve got to execute on learning from it. We can’t keep losing games, we’ve got to score some points in the second half. Defense is playing great and we gave them momentum. We’ve got to do a better job of that.
Q: With eight-nine minutes to go, fourth and two—are you surprised you guys went for it there instead of kicking the field goal?
A: We score, game’s over. We score, the game is over. It’s a weird drive, all the penalties and things of that nature going on. But to get down, we’ve got to finish it with six and I had all the confidence that we were about to score on that play. I go out there and play, I don’t make the decisions.
Q: What about Josh Brown? He hadn’t missed all year.
A: I mean he’s an unbelievable kicker and we’ve got to put him in a better spot and a better position. You put him at the 30-yard line and that’s a tough kick to make with the conditions and everything. We’ve got to go down and score, we’ve got to go win the game.
Q: When he misses, though, does it almost complete the second half collapse for you guys?
A: Yeah. We shouldn’t have been in that position. We shouldn’t have had to put him in that position. We should have been able to score some points in the second half. We’ve got to do a better job of that. We’ve got to get back and thank God our division is in the position it’s in because Dallas beats the Redskins tomorrow, we’re still tied for first place. So I’ll be cheering for Dallas hard tomorrow, that’s for damn sure.
Q: As an offense, you guys obviously don’t want to put your defense back on the field in that game. You guys had one of those three and outs a couple times you’ve had this year at the end of the game. Why can’t you guys—that drive specifically or in general—seem to get those first downs when you need them to stay on the field late in the game?
A: It’s something that I don’t have the exact answer to. If I had the answer, we wouldn’t be sitting here asking the questions about it. We’ve got to do a better job of finishing. Like I’ve said before, we’re going to learn from it, we’re going to learn from it. I can only say it so many times, you’ve got to go out there and execute. We’ve got to score in the green zone when we get down there. We’ve got to score and get points. It’s tough to put your defense in that position and I feel like we could have done more in that second half, for sure.
Q: How did you feel out there, it’s your first game in a few weeks?
A: Felt great, felt great the whole time. Just trying to get back to being out there. I didn’t care where I was at. It was kind of a curve ball being there at left tackle, but I’ve done it before. Felt very comfortable. There were a couple times I got some penalties that’s uncharacteristic that I wish would have done better with those. That’s something that hurts our offense. I’ll lock it in, I’ll be ready to go.
Q: Does any of this become mental late in these games?
A: Late in these games, does it become mental? I don’t know, we’ve closed some out. We’ve done some good things in the close ones, but it just feels like we’ve got to push through and get these close ones. There are so many games—you look back at our season, we could have easily gone the other way and be sitting at a very good standing as opposed to 5-7. It’s something that you have to get better at right now. If we don’t get better at it, we’re not going to be able to make that final push and get to where we need to go. It’s a lot of us coming together and finishing strong and we’ve got to make sure we keep each other up. Someone’s got to step up and make plays. As an offense, we have to do our job.
Q: How damaging are these close losses, just the losses in general for the season?
A: Definitely disheartening. There hasn’t really been a game, I guess besides the Philly game and last week, that we haven’t had a legit shot to win at the end of the game. To become the team that we want to become and to go where we want to go, we have to win these games and that’s just the matter of fact. Like I said before, I keep saying, we’ve got to learn from it, we’ve got to learn from it. We’ve learned from it, we’ve got to go out there and do it now. There’s no more time to sit around and say, ‘Oh, it’s going to get better.’ It hasn’t, so something has got to change right now.
Q: Is the inconsistency in the run game becoming an issue? That fourth and two play, in an ideal situation, I think you guys would like to lean on it?
A: Yeah. At the same time, we’ve been successful throwing the ball on them in the game. I don’t know what our average yard per carry was, but I feel like we were getting some pretty good chunk yardage running the ball. Obviously, there were a few where we’ve got to do better, we’ve got to eliminate those negative impact or negative yardage runs. There’s a lot of things we need to get better, it’s not just one thing.