G Justin Pugh
August 17, 2017
Q: Youíve said before that the offensive line knows about the comments people have made about it. Do you think you guys have done a good job in the offseason of trying to change that narrative?
A: Iím excited about the direction that weíre headed in. Just watching the game film, weíre doing some good things. It has to transition to the games, though. Iím excited about going out there this week and getting some game action. Obviously, itís a little more of an extended week for us playing on a Monday night, and again on Saturday, so we have to make sure weíre taking care of our bodies this week and really starting to get into the flow of the regular season-type schedule and getting your body ready for that.
Q: Do you guys (offensive linemen) think you got a good night in on Friday (against the Pittsburgh Steelers)?
A: We shouldíve just kept running that first play over and over again. We got 80 yards and almost broke it so we should have just keptÖ no Iím just kidding. We did some good things. You learn from some things that happened. Obviously, we got down on the score. The offensive line is headed in the right direction.
Q: How important is it for the offense to execute even though itís just the preseason?
A: For your confidence, itís definitely a positive, itís a bonus, but we want to go out there and make sure weíre doing the things to keep ascending, building things the right way. You donít want to put much out there; we have meaningful games come September. We also want to have that confidence rolling over; to have some successful plays and run the plays you want to run and execute them the right way. Make some good blocks and have some nice catches; those are definitely going to help us.
Q: With all the protests in the NFL, as a player representative, do you have a role in terms of talking to the guys or bringing it up with Demaurice Smith and the NFLPA?
A: Itís definitely sad to see whatís going on. Head Coach Ben McAdoo would always say our country is not perfect; there are things going on that are issues. As a player rep, if guys need to come talk to us, want to do anything or reach out to the union, the union is going to have the guysí back no matter what. Thatís something that weíll provide to everybody. Itís tough, because I didnít even know, before I got involved in the NFLPA, what they offer to players and the protection and assistance that they can give us. Having guys reach out and get more involved in that is definitely something Iím always an advocate of
Q: Has anybody come to you in that respect?
A: We havenít. We watched a movie the other night, which was good for the team to watch and see whatís going on. Itís definitely a touchy subject. I donít know enough about it to make a statement on it.
Q: What was the movie?
Q: That was here (at the training facility)?
Q: One of the things that happened in the (Pittsburgh) game was the number of sacks and McAdoo said it wasnít all on the (offensive) line. How much do you have to pick that up, though?
A: One wasÖ we were supposed to run a screen, and we didnít. That guyís supposed to come scot-free and make a sack. On another one, the defensive lineman fell into it. Itís tough. If youíre going to look at the sacks, youíre going to blame the offensive lineÖ If we had zero, but QB Eli Manning got hit a bunch of times, youíll be like, ĎOh you didnít give up any sacks, great job!í But if the quarterback still gets hit, weíre not doing our job. That can be a misleading statistic to look at. You have to get in there and look at the film to see how things went down and know whoís responsible for what to really be able to get a good understanding of it. I would refer all of those questions to like a Shaun OíHara or David Diehl that can really tell you about offensive line play.
Q: How important is it to find consistency in the rushing game?
A: Itís huge, and itís going to help us when we get down to the green zone. (Thatís) the biggest area where we have to score more points than we did last year. We have to be more efficient and more consistent when we get down into the green zone. Running the ball is going to help us do that. Iím excited because that first play (in the Pittsburgh game) actually had two guys run into each other. It was literally just bad luck. If we wouldnít have had that, that play wouldíve hit too. Itís something good to build off of, but obviously getting some playmakers out there and having the full offense with all those weapons out there will deter some of those defenses from dropping an extra safety in the box or doing some of those things.