G Justin Pugh
October 18, 2016
Q: The Rams have had a few guys ejected. Is this game particularly important to stay disciplined in?
A: I think it is to just keep doing what we did last week. No penalties on the offensive line. As an offense, we have to make sure that we are staying level headed and that is just everyone involved. You can't get into the extra chippy stuff and I have to make sure that I do a good job of that too because sometimes I go after some guys.
Q: The Rams were the first team to get to Odell. Is that something that you are all aware of?
A: We know what happened in that game, two years ago when we played there. Obviously they were trying to get after him and hit him, so we have to make sure that we go out there and play within the whistles and make sure that we are protecting our guys at the same time. But obviously we have to make sure that this game is more focused on going out and playing football than fighting.
Q: Do you expect them to try and do the same thing?
A: Yeah, I mean they are going to try and stop him. By any means necessary I guess is there motto and I watched them on Hard Knocks, so you kind of see what kind of mentality they have in those rooms.
Q: Has that been brought up in the locker room or in meetings?
A: You can look at the penalties that they have on defense. They have nine personal fouls, they have gotten two guys ejected -- we got a guy ejected too so I guess we have to make sure that we go out there and play football. We are not trying to go out there and do anything after the whistle, that is not something that we are looking to get involved in.
Q: What kind of a challenge is Aaron Donald?
A: He is one of the best defensive tackles in the football. His get off is incredible, he has great speed and quickness with his hands. I played against him in college too, so I have played against him a few times. He plays with great leverage. He is not the biggest guy in the world though. When you walk in, you aren't going to be like, 'Oh. That is probably one of the best defensive tackles in football.' You probably wouldn't even think that. But you put on film and he has gotten like 37 quarterback hurries, three sacks -- it has been nice these past few weeks, I have kind of gotten to play guys similar in build and quickness in Mike Daniels and Jernigan. But I think he is the best of the bunch.
Q: How did you do in college when you faced him?
A: We beat them.
Q: How did you do individually?
A: I was playing left tackle at the time, so he was still really young then. I think he was still a sophomore in college and it was my junior year and I played against him. Then I remember the first game back playing against him, I think we beat them 14-13, but then I could tell he was going to be a really good player because I never really struggled with guys in college and then that was the first time where I was like, 'Woah. This kid has got a little something.' So he is definitely a really good player.
Q: He usually lines up against the right guard, right?
A: No, he is a three technique.
Q: So he will go on both sides?
Q: How important is it for you guys to communicate when they run twists with him?
A: When anyone is running twists, you have to be able to make sure that you are echoing and you are making sure that you are protecting the guy next to you and not getting him hit. So especially with him, him and (Robert) Quinn -- they are both great players, they can really disrupt the game, so we have to make sure that we go out there and play our best game up front.
Q: How much are you looking forward to this challenge?
A: Obviously itís the one-on-one battles in the middle. Me and John and Weston just have to go out there and do our job. Give Eli time. You see what 10 and 13, all these receivers can do when they have some time. We have to go out there and give them time. Make sure weíre extra discipline this week just because of all the travel. New environment, new place. Weíre looking forward to that challenge.
Q: How much do you get amped up for the opportunity to block Arnold, a guy you think is one of the best defensive tackles in football?
A: Thus far I would say heís the best. Honestly, the wiggle room for the best, thereís like five guys that come to mind in terms of defensive tackles. I donít want to say heís the best defensive tackle. Obviously thereís some guys that are really good. Itís an exciting challenge for us. We have to make sure we go out there and get ready to play a game. They have a front-seven that is up there with anyone else in the NFL.
Q: Where are you right now confidence wise personally?
A: Iíve been doing some good things. I always say, I donít have the best technique in the world. Itís something I always try to work on. Coach Solari is always on me about getting my technique better and better. Iím going to go out there and fight. Thatís something I always do. No matter what happens, Iím going to go out there and battle. Whoever Iím going across, theyíre going to know that they were in a football game that day. Thatís something that I try and take pride in. At the end of the day, offensive line play is not about one person. Itís all about the five guys up front. We have to be a unit. Itís protecting each other. I think this is the best group Iíve been a part of and this is the most fun Iíve had playing.
Q: Your best season yet?
A: Yes. Iíve rotated so much from right and left tackle to guard. Itís been nice to be at that same position throughout the year because Iíve been able to capitalize on some nuances and tricks of the trade. Last year it was left guard for a few games and left tackle for a few games. Making that transition is tough. Trying to go back to left guard while youíre in that tackle mindset. Itís been nice to be in the same position.
Q: When Marshall got hurt, there was never a whisper about going to play right tackle. That couldíve been a possibility right?
A: I think last year that wouldíve been in the conversation. This year, theyíve kept me at guard and Iíve enjoyed my time in there. I think Iím going to get better and better at the position. Coach Solari has helped me get better and better as well.
Q: They donít have a ton of sacks this year, whatís the biggest thing for their defensive line?
A: I think their biggest thing is they stop the run while getting to the quarterback. They stop the run, get to the quarterback and try and be disruptive. That style of play leads to finding creases in the defense. Like I said, that front seven is a scary front seven. The stats may show one thing, but those guys get after it. You have to make sure youíre bringing your A game against them.