Just last year, LG Justin Pugh defended criticism of the Giants’ offensive line.
“Until we go out there and prove it, people can say what they want to say,” Pugh said.
But now Pugh and the rest of the O-line might have to prove themselves to their own teammate.
Giants C Weston Richburg seems to think that certain guys are not working hard enough in the offseason. He has been training at the LB O-Line performance center in Arizona during his time off, but asserts that his teammates don’t have the same desire to improve.
This internal criticism contrasts the public notion that the team is focused on rebuilding after walking away with a mere 6 wins last season.
Walking into only his third season with the Giants, Westburg’s comments might have specifically offended some of the celebrated veterans in the organization.
“The percentage of guys who are just OK to be there (in the league) is pretty high,” said Richburg. “This is pretty rare. The majority of my offensive line is not doing anything right now.”
As a player who exceeded expectations last season, Richburg is rightfully taking on a leadership role as he continues to show a tough work ethic. There is no problem with holding people accountable, but he still has to foster unity on the field.
When interviewed during OTA's about his comments regarding teammates' work ethic, the Giants center backpedaled just a bit.
"Well, those things were taken out of context," admitted Richburg. "Speaking on what I believe about the place I train, I think it is a great spot. I wish everybody could be out there because we do some really great stuff. Like I said, I will be out there every off-season until I am done playing."
Richburg has to make sure that his public criticism is only the beginning of a long-winded desire to motivate his teammates. He has to promote a collective effort because the truth is people don’t care that Richburg had a great season while the Giants were missing from the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
The ultimate goal is to win and if Richburg can motivate a string of young guys with radical potential, the Giants can secure a bright future.