Excerpt: "Pat Flaherty, the Giants offensive line coach, doesn’t want Justin Pugh to think of any opponent as a specific person.
If his technique is right and his footwork is sound, it shouldn’t matter who he is facing; a list that will include the likes of Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka when full padded practices begin on Thursday.
"Coach Flaherty’s real big on having a faceless opponent and going out there and just executing what you need to do, on what your job is and making sure you get that done," Pugh said Monday.
But in many ways, Pugh knows his toughest opponent has already been laid out in front of him. He goes to meetings with him and sometimes works in the same huddle.
Since he was drafted, and the Giants looked to settle him in at right tackle, it became clear that a training camp battle was under way. Pugh is the first-round pick. David Diehl, the incumbent right tackle, is the tenured veteran.
And as far as Flaherty is concerned, it’s Diehl’s to lose. Pugh will get the same amount of reps but with the second string. There’s a chance he’ll learn the left tackle position later on, but not in the coming days.
"Right tackle is David Diehl with Justin Pugh working at right tackle," Flaherty said when asked to lay out the competition. "That’s where we’re starting out here in training camp and we’ll continue to progress that way. And it’ll work its way out, whatever which way it’s going to work. Both of them are getting the same amount of reps and we have a lot of confidence in David Diehl as well as Justin Pugh will get there as he continues to work." Read more...