Justin Pugh is entering his 5th season as the New York Giants' offensive guard. The Syracuse alumnus has been protecting Eli Manning ever since he was drafted in 2013. Pugh’s time with the Giants so far has not been so idle, he's been called the “weak link” of the Giants’ offensive line time and time again. Despite showing serious improvement in the past few seasons.
“I think that’s been a theme in every season that I’ve been here. So, obviously going out there and keep working on what we did last year. We added some pieces to the offense that will help aid the offensive line. So that’s exciting. I’m excited about this group. We got a bunch of guys that are willing to work hard and Coach Solari is getting everybody right. So, it going to be better, we’re definitely going to see an improvement.”
Pugh must look at himself to improve from past seasons. He is becoming one of the veterans of the offensive line. The Giants’ offensive line has been their weakest for the past few years.
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This could be attributed to the youth among the line and they need to time to grow. But it is about that time where this offensive line is ready to be efficient in the NFL.
“Now it's time for us to go up as a unit and be five guys that go out there and play and play our best football this year. That’s how we have to look at it. It can’t be a fragmented, just the tackles, just the guards, just the center; it has to be all five of us playing better and more a cohesive unit, and that’s what is going to make us successful.”
This group has been together for quite some time. With some addition this offseason, it should make communication easier among the line. Pugh talked about how the offensive line is more complicated and how the build of trust will make them stronger.
“I always say this, from the outsider’s perspective, looking at the offensive line, you're like, ‘you played right tackle, why can’t you play left tackle, or why can’t a left tackle snap a football?’ But the offensive line is one of those units that have to be in cohesion, or I can’t think of the right word for it, but that's something that I think definitely comes into play. That trust factor, that knowing where that guy next to you is going to be. Me and Ereck playing next to us, going into our third season, we're definitely going to be at our highest level.”
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Pugh looks for a bounce back season to help protect Eli and the backfield. The Giants have strengths all over the field and could be a true threat this upcoming season. However, the offensive line playing to their highest of abilities could make the Giants a contender of the NFL.