G Justin Pugh
December 14, 2016
Q: Are you confident in playing this week?
A: I think this is the week. I felt good last week. They eased me back into it. As long as there is no hiccups this week, I think Iíll be ready to go
Q: This time of year, the running game is crucial. How much would it mean for you to get back and how much would it mean for the running game?
A: For me, itís huge. I miss these guys and being able to be out there. Obviously the atmosphere in the last game, I was very jealous of those guys being out there. Just try and bring back some energy. Come back, Iím fresh. Just run around and keep spirits going and get a breath of fresh air. Itíll be good.
Q: What do you think the atmosphere will be this Sunday with the playoffs within grasp?
A: Itís going to be a playoff atmosphere. Theyíre coming in with nine wins. Theyíve been playing great. They have won eight games in the fourth quarter and weíve won a lot of games in the fourth quarter. Itís going to be a battle. Weíve played them before and Iíve played them throughout my career a few times. Stafford is an unbelievable quarterback. Heís having a great season. We have to do our work to keep him on the bench.
Q: This team is 6-1 at home. Why do you think youíve been so much better at home this year?
A: I think last year; we just didnít close out games. I really think itís the mentality of this team. Weíre going to go out and finish and find a way to win. I think itís our identity. Last year, we struggled to find our identity. Thatís the difference between the two teams.
Q: Do you sense in the last home game that you need to take advantage of being here one last time?
A: Definitely. I think our fans were awesome on Sunday. We have to go out and continue to give them something to get loud about. I think that will pay dividends for us.
Q: How much have you progressed over the last few weeks?
A: I feel good. I think Iím going to play this week. Obviously itís been a rough road for me trying to get back. Setbacks, thinking Iím playing last week and then not playing. Iíve been doing everything at practice so this is the week Iím going to come back for sure.
Q: Being out, have you seen things that youíll be able to use when you get back in?
A: Yes. I think you get a better perspective when you have to sit on the bench for a little while and see guys play and what works for other guys. Just been doing a lot of film watching and seeing how weíre playing and how other guards are playing in the league. It gave me a chance to go back and look at my own play and evaluate, which you donít usually get a chance to do. Just make sure that Iím coming back fresh and ready to go. Just providing that spark for the offense.
Q: First time the dress code for home games is not what is? I would imagine you were happy?
A: Well, I bought a bunch of suits because I had to. I still wear suits. My first time for a home game, itís nice. You can just come in with a button on and a pair of jeans. Thatís good.
Q: On road games, too, right?
A: Yes, both, so it makes it a little easier. I still wear my suits because I bought all of these suits. Iím going to wear them.
Q: You wear them on the road games, too, the suits?
A: Yes, I wear them. Itís just depending on if I feel like wearing a suit or not. I donít go tie now. I donít have to wear a tie ever now, so thatís nice.
Q: We have to wear ties.
A: Make the team, then you wonít have to.
Q: Do you look at the fact that you could clinch this weekend?
A: I havenít thought about it at all. We have to go out and win games. Obviously we want to win the division. We need some real help with that but we want to go out and handle our business. Itís just playing quality football and putting the full game together because we havenít done that yet. Thatís the goal.
Q: What do you think of being in this position but the offense has not reached its full potential yet?
A: Yes. Imagine if we get the offense rolling and we put up more than 10 points. We havenít been putting up crazy numbers all year. We havenít put up more than 30 all season. I think if we get that rolling with this defense, watch out, weíre going to be a scary team to play. I think we still are a scary team to play. I donít think a lot of people want to come and play the Giants come playoff time.
Q: Is this frustrating for you, not being able to be out there on Sundayís with the guys?
A: It was killing me. Obviously, I hear it from all the o-line. Weíre like brothers. All five of us are in there. Weíre the closest group on the team, in my opinion. I was hearing it from Weston and JJ (John Jerry). We want you back out there and blah blah blah. Itís nice not to hear that from them anymore and to be back out there and playing. I was running around like a little kid today, having fun.
Q: Is there any thought that if you get back out there, you can help the team score 30-plus points?
A: Iím just going to play my role, do my job and let the chips fall where they may. You canít come out as an offensive lineman and guarantee that weíre going to score more points. Iím going to go out there and help the five guys up front do their job. Help communicate better and help play my role. Everyone has to go out there and not try and press. If you try and press, youíre going to hurt this team more than helping it.
Q: Do you think beating Dallas twice can put doubt in a team like that, their mind?
A: Dallas was the best team in the NFL and we beat them twice. I think it gives us confidence and it takes them back a little bit. There were some questions being thrown around. Thatís your job to make them doubt.
Q: Do you think it legitimizes you guys to the rest of the league?
A: We beat them once already. If you have to do it twice, then I guess. Theyíre a really good team. They have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Our defense played unbelievable. You can win games in December when itís cold out with a good pass rush and shut down cornerbacks. Obviously we want to do a better job of making their job easier so they can just pin their ears back and go. Thatís something that we have to work on.