Giants’ veteran offensive line signing already displaying leadership

Justin Pugh, New York Giants
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are in desperate need of stability. Recent acquisition Justin Pugh is already making an impression in the locker room with his perspective on the Giants’ issues and what can be done to turn the corner.

Pugh spoke to the media yesterday and gave his take on the Evan Neal controversy with the fanbase, as well as his responsibility to fulfill his role and hold others accountable:

The Giants recently signed Pugh to their practice squad with the offensive line failing to protect quarterback Daniel Jones. Pugh, 33, started his career with Big Blue after being selected with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Now back in the Big Apple, Pugh understands that in order for the Giants to start winning games at home, they’ll need their fans cheering in the stands. He made sure to accentuate this while also taking an understanding approach when chiming in on Evan Neal lashing out after the fans let him have it for his poor coverage in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.

The New York Giants Need Everyone to Step Up

Pugh is not the first Giants player to sound off on the team’s deteriorating productivity. Leonard Williams felt like the team needed to find its identity after Week 3. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale addressed the tackling issue by speaking life into his players in front of the media leading up to Week 4. Neither have been resolved.

Bringing a seasoned veteran like Pugh into the fold is yet another attempt to jolt the offense, and that cannot happen without stability at right tackle. Pugh’s snap count on the offensive line and special teams decreased year-over-year in his final three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals — the last of which came by way of an ACL tear in Week 6 of 2022.

However, he’s ready to put the work in and give Jones more time to throw and RB Saquon Barkley more holes to exploit in the backfield should he see ample time in the rotation. For now, the Giants are hoping that his voice and veteran presence in practice will make a difference and help the team pull off a major upset against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

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