G Justin Pugh
October 11, 2017
Opening Statement: Iíll just say as a start Ė Iím not talking about the DRC (Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie) situation. I donít know enough about it, so Iím not going to even comment on it. So, donít even ask me about it.
Q: As a veteran leader, do you dispute the perception that youíre losing the locker room?
A: Yeah. Definitely. I mean, everyone is still here right? I donít know exactly what went on in the situation. So, I canít tell you how he feels or whatís going on.
Q: Talk about losing a player in general and does that make you lose the locker room?
A: I donít think so. I think it happens with every team. Things like that happen sometimes. Iíve been on teams that were winning where guys have been suspended on it. Thatís just jumping to a conclusion, I would say.
Q: How is the locker room at 0-5?
A: As good as you can be being 0-5. I mean, I think weíve gotten tighter. I can speak just specifically for the offensive line. Hasnít been the easiest year. Iíve been through something like this before and you just have to stick together and keep working and good things will eventually start to go our way.
Q: Is this losing streak a different feeling than the 0-6 one you had back when you were younger?
A: I just know how hard it is to win in the NFL. A lot of guys probably will come in as a young guy, just I thought we would win. We were the New York Giants. They won a Super Bowl two years previously. I thought we were just going to go out there and that was just going to happen and you realize how quickly Ė weíre having a lot of the same games we had last year. Itís just weíre not pulling them out in the fourth quarter. I mean, if you look at it, weíve had leads in the fourth quarter in the past three games and legitimately probably thought in each game that we were going to win it and then we lost. So, I mean, thatís the NFL. It humbles you real quick and itís doing it to a lot of people in here and we have to learn how to win the close games now. Soon. This week.
Q: Did the reality of the injuries at wide receiver hit home today when you were out on the practice field?
A: It hit home while we were in a two-minute drive and I looked around and we had no one in the huddle. Hats off to the tight ends for going out there and stepping up and going and probably running some routes they havenít ran ever. We have guys playing the No. 1 receiver thatís normally a blocking tight end. Hats off to those guys. They went in and they competed. As an offensive line, we did some good things. We did some bad things. I donít know. You guys probably wonít ask me if weíre going to run the ball this week, I guess. Thatís one positive, but we have to protect the quarterback and do a better job there. So, I donít even know how I went on that tangent.
Q: Does the run game become more important with so many new receivers on the roster?
A: Yeah. Definitely. I think itís just important with those receivers in there. You run the ball successfully, you can open up some holes for those guys and thatís what we have to do. Itís obviously going to be more of a challenge now and even more of a challenge when youíre going against the No. 1 defense in the NFL in their stadium on a Sunday Night Football game. So, weíre looking forward to a hostile environment. We know what weíre getting ourselves into. Just have to go out there and play detailed football.
Q: What have you seen from guys who have been thrust into a new role?
A: This is the NFL. I mean, I think Coach Mac (Ben McAdoo) said Ė gives a quote today that was like, ĎEverybody was nobody before they became somebody,í or something like that. Where itís just like at one point no one knew Odell Beckham was going to be a superstar. So, that gives these guys an opportunity to go out there and do some good things. You look back last year and we had a game against the Redskins in Week 17 and TK (Tavarres King) came up with a huge play. So, I know those guys can play. Weíve seen it in the preseason. So, Iím excited for these guys to get an opportunity and showcase what they can do.
Q: As far as the altitude in Denver, what have you heard about the challenges of that?
A: Well, Weston Richburg played at Colorado State, which is right around there Ė a little bit north of Denver and said it didnít really affect him too much. But, obviously everyone is like a point in case. You just donít know how itís going to affect you. I havenít played there personally and just making sure Iím really taking care of my body this week, extra hydration. We had Pratik Patel, our nutritionist, made sure to give us the guidelines of what you need to make sure youíre putting into your body this week to be ready.
Q: Are you doing anything differently this week because of the Denver altitude?
A: No. I mean, itís the normal stuff. You have to make sure youíre eating right. Staying hydrated is one of the biggest things. Obviously with the flight, too, you have to make sure you stay hydrated. But, nothing out of the ordinary.