T Justin Pugh
December 6, 2017
Q: What was your reaction to the changes?
A: I felt bad, obviously. Been through a lot with coach (Ben) McAdoo. He was the offensive coordinator most of my time here. Definitely a tough situation. I realize from an organization standpoint, you know, 2-10. But, thatís on everybody in this building. Thatís not just on one man and itís an unfortunate situation and the more Iíve been in this business, the more I see how much of a business it is and I realize things like that happen. I just wish we could have won some more games for him.
Q: What was your reaction to seeing Eli Manning back out there today?
A: Great to see 10 out there. I feel bad for Geno (Smith) too. He didnít ask to get put in the situation and a lot of disrespect and hate were thrown his way and itís just uncalled for.vI get everyone wants to support Eli, but by supporting one man to put another man down is just not the way to do it. At the end of the day, things in the building and the competition will work itself out and obviously Eli at quarterback. Obviously, heís been the (my) only quarterback and Iíve obviously supported him throughout. I just hate to see everyone bash another guy for a coach making a decision to put him in the game.
Q: How did you think Eli Manning handled everything over the last nine days?
A: Like a pro. Like Eli Manning. Iím proud to call him a teammate. Iím proud to be associated with the way he handles himself and like I said last week when he was backing up and he came over to me and was asking about the offensive line, how we can help the offense be better. Just the type of guy he is and obviously he wants to be the quarterback and I said, heís not done playing and a week later Iím a prophecy.
Q: What stuck with you about what Steve Spagnuolo said to the team today?
A: Just focus on getting one win. Right now, all we can focus in on is the short term. Going out and getting a win against Dallas. We have all three of our divisional opponents back at home. So, go out and get a win against Dallas and go from there because really thereís a lot up in the air when you have an interim coach, interim GM. We know changes are looming. We have to go out there and stick together. Thereís so much adversity. Pulls us closer and we got to be our best.
Q: What can be different about a defensive minded guy as your lead voice now?
A: Yeah, tables have turned because we had (Ben) McAdoo as our offensive coordinator. Then he became the head coach and now the defensive coordinator becomes the head coach. I havenít really talked to Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) that much. Yesterday, I sat in his office and I talked with him just to kind of get a feel for what he wanted from me and the offensive side of the ball and how things have been going and what not. Itís refreshing to see how he sees it and what he wants to do going forward. The schedule, a lot of it kind of resembles what we did with coach (Tom) Coughlin. So, I was used to most of the things.
Q: Whatís it like to have so much uncertainty within the organization and how does that affect you?
A: Iím actually in a good spot. I kind of get to sit back and see everything unfold and I guess thatís what happens when youíre a looming free agent. You have the ability to see whatís going on and see whatís in front of you and see what your options are. Iíve never had that in my life. Itís always been this where youíre going. This is what youíre doing. Even in college, I wasnít highly recruited. So, I never got to choose what situation I put myself in.
Q: How are you for this weekend?
A: Iím feeling good. Went out there and practiced today. Weíre going to see. Weíre going to see how Ė itís kind of progressing as the week goes. We built off of last week and thatís good, but we kind of have to keep pushing it and making sure Iím at a level where I can play.
Q: When Eli Manning got in the huddle for the first time, it looked like the lineman were giving him some grief.
A: Yeah. We reintroduced ourselves to him. Especially me. Iíve been out for a little while, so I wanted to go and tell him who I was. Even though we shared the scout team huddle last week. It was good to see 10 in there. Like I said, heís been my quarterback ever since I got into the league. He was the first call I got after Coughlin. After they drafted me, the first call I got was Eli Manning. So, obviously itís a tough situation, but Iím happy to see 10 out there.