G Justin Pugh
December 20, 2016
Q: Anything to say about playing in Philly?
A: What I will say is that I love the city of Philadelphia and I hate the Philadelphia Eagles. That is all that I have to say about that.
Q: You talked last week about being a playoff team. Now that you are on the cusp of being a playoff clincher, what would this one mean to you?
A: It would be huge. Obviously, we have two division games left and when you are going against those types of opponents, we are always going to play each other tough, so we know it is going to be a tough environment. We havenít been successful down in Philadelphia in these primetime games that past two seasons, so it is a big challenge for us. It is a short week, we have to focus in, lock in, and get ready to go.
Q: Have all the guys in this locker room talked about putting the hammer down this week?
A: Yeah, obviously we want to clinch this week. It has been, Ďwho is going to be the more focused team.í Obviously there is a lot going on this week, Christmas is right around the corner, it is a Thursday game, everything is a little bit different, different schedules, so it is just making sure that we are locked in to go in there and play some good football.
Q: How do you balance that? This is something that you have been waiting your whole life for, and it is 48 hours away.
A: Yeah, you get goosebumps thinking about being able to go to the playoffs, and then obviously once you get there it opens up whole new doors, avenues, whatever you want to say, so it is exciting and it should be exciting. Everyone should enjoy this, everyone should be soaking this in, because I have been in seasons where these last two games are meaningless and I am sitting here and you guys arenít even here because it is not even worth talking about. So this is a fun time to be a New York Giant and I am going to go out there and enjoy it with our teammates. We have to go out there and get a win and play a good game of football, play a complete game of football. We still have yet to do that.
Q: Given how the schedule has changed, do you feel like the guys are still locked in?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think everyone realizes that at the same time, we are professionals too. Coach is making sure that we are taking care of our bodies. That is the biggest thing on a short week. These are the toughest games to play in because you are playing four days after playing the previous game where you played against a playoff contending team, it was a physical game and we are sore. So you have to take care of your bodies, but as a professional, you have to make sure that you are doing extra stuff, so tonight after I leave here, I am going to get a massage, and then I am going to get stretched out after that, so I wonít even get home until 9 oíclock tonight, so it is those extra things to make sure that you are doing that.
Q: Any extra special feeling that you can clinch it in Philadelphia, a place that hasnít been too kind to the Giants?
A: Yeah, it would be cool. It would be fun to clinch in front of my home and my family and all of that. At the same time, you canít put too much into it and like I said, I regret the way things were handled last time, so I am not saying anything about anything.
Q: What would you say that Coach McAdoo has done well this season as far as keeping you guys focused?
A: He is just consistent. He keeps it light, keeps everyone laughing. There is always something funny that he will put up, but I have known that side of him for the past three years now, so that is nothing new to us. The offense really gels well with coach and now I think the defense is really learning more about him and how he operates, so it is good. It is good to keep things light hearted, but at the same time, when it is time to put the hammer down and be all business, he is all business and he doesnít leave any stone unturned, so that is something that you expect from him and he consistently gives that to the team.
Q: Can you share a moment like that? Can you think of something funny he has done?
A: I donít know, the whole Christie debacle where he was coming at him, and then he kind of made a joke about it and you have to be able to laugh at situations that are comical, and that is just something that is fun. But things that happen in our team room, stay in our team room.
Q: Obviously if you win then you are in, but do you pay attention to any of your other tie breakers?
A: There are so many different things. We canít worry about anyone elseís business, we have to handle our own business, so if we go out and win, then we are in the playoffs.
Q: How do you feel? Last time was the first time in five weeks that you played.
A: Yeah, I am sore. I was sore yesterday and today and I am just getting in here and making sure that I am taking care of my body. But Thursday everyone is going to be sore. All of those guys have been playing. John Jerry has been playing 14, 15 straight weeks, so he is more sore than I am going to be, but hats off to everyone taking care of their bodies. I am just trying to follow the guys, and they have been stretching and doing all sorts of stuff, yoga, and making sure that I just hop in line and take care of my body too.
Q: How is the knee?
A: Knee feels good. The knee feels really good, so just keep doing the things that I have been doing and keep my knee coming along, in terms of getting stronger and stronger every week, and that is exciting for me and just keep getting better.
Q: Are you giving the offensive line grief because you came back and the team rushed for 100 yards?
A: No, because before I left we didnít really get over 100 yards rushing, so we have been getting every week, the backs have been getting better, we have been gelling, and that is something that takes time and obviously you want that to be now, but we are just going to keep getting better, keep chopping and Coach Solari is going to keep coaching us and we are going to get better every week.
Q: Winning and getting to the postseason is probably something new for you personally. Will you reach out to someone like David Diehl or Chris Snee for some advice?
A: I talk to them consistently throughout the year. I talk to Diehl, I talk to Boothe, I talk to Snee and they will always send me little texts and we will go back and forth, so it is good to have those guys. But at the same time, they are living their lives, so you have to look to guys in the locker room and guys that have been there before Ė the Eli Manningís, the Zak DeOssieís, Marshall Newhouse, guys that have won and played in those games and see how they operate. Like they have said to me, just keep doing what you are doing. Be consistent and donít change anything. Obviously when you start pressing you end up creating more issues for yourself, so keep doing what we have been doing because it has gotten us this far.