G Justin Pugh
April 11, 2016
Q: Did you do anything different this offseason knowing that you would probably be at guard as opposed to last offseason when you really weren’t sure?
A: Last year I knew I was probably going to come in and play some guard. This year I did the same training—went out to L.A., worked with Jay Glazer out there working on some MMA stuff. It’s just making sure I keep my weight up because I know a lot more what to expect this year, so I’m excited.
Q: I know it’s only been the first day, but do you have any impressions on the new strength and conditioning program and the coach (Aaron Wellman)?
A: We got a whole new weight room, which is pretty interesting. Definitely some cool things going on there, just changing up some of the approach and things like that. Really the first day, getting everyone acclimated, getting everyone back in here, and getting everyone back to work I think is a huge thing; getting used to the way things are going to be run now and the mentality we have now.
Q: Coach McAdoo talked about having something planned for his first address to you guys. What did you take away from him and what did you think of the first day of everyone assembling?
A: It was good. It was good to get everyone back here, get everyone to see the faces, meet the new coaches. So it was a good first day. The offense, I think we’re kind of used to the way McAdoo approaches things, how he communicates with us. It was a good day for us. I think it was more for the defense really meeting him and getting to know a lot more about him, because a lot of the things the offensive guys have seen throughout the course of the years we’ve had with Mac already. It was a great first day, great start, and I know everyone is very, very excited.
Q: You mentioned there are some familiar faces and you do have a working relationship with McAdoo. Does this really feel like you’re starting a new chapter or is this kind of a smooth transition?
A: It’s definitely new. Like I said, the weight room is all brand new; we’ve got new things up on the wall. But it definitely has a familiar feel to it. Like I said, a lot of the coaches we have worked with before. From an offensive line perspective, obviously with Coach Solari in here is brand new to us, so that was exciting to get to work with him today and get started. We’ve got a ways to go, but it was a very, very productive good first day.
Q: Any thoughts on the new players you acquired, particularly on the defensive side?
A: You know what, to see those guys in the building is good, but obviously not being able to be on the field yet and really work with those guys—we’re split up offense-defense—so we were only were sitting in meetings together. I’m sure once we get out there on the field, we’ll get more of a feel for what those guys are all about. Obviously we know we went out and got some real good players, so I’m excited to see what they can do once we get the helmets on here in a few weeks and get OTA’s started with the practices.
Q: What kind of a leap are you looking for on that left side of the line with yourself and Ereck Flowers as far as working together in your second year?
A: Oh, it’s going to be huge. Last year, still learning the system, it was new to him; a lot of calls, me and him we’re working on things together. I think this year it’s more of we’ve already got that feel, we’re already building on that trust that we built last year. We’re looking to pick up where we left off and really get this thing rolling, taking a leadership role, and really finishing the games—obviously improving on the run game, improving on third down, and scoring when we get in the green zone; making sure we don’t hurt ourselves down there. So really just a few of the things. We’re going to look forward to getting better at as a unit. I think all five of us have to come together--it can’t just be me and Ereck--it’s got to be all five guys up front; we’re all on the same page and firing on all cylinders.
Q: With all the shiny new pieces that the Giants added on the defensive line, do you feel like as an offensive line group that you may be overlooked and not given the kind of respect you deserve?
A: No, I never feel that way. We’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to prove ourselves week in and week out. I think we did some good things last year, but we obviously have a ways to go and a ways to go to improve. We’re looking forward to that challenge. We’re always, as a group, we’re going to go out there and work. We don’t need any recognition, we’re offensive linemen; we’re used to that. We’re blue-collar, we’re going to come, roll up our sleeves, and go to work. We’re excited to get in there, we’ve got a new coach, we’ve got a lot to learn, we’ve got a lot to work on. We’re just getting going.