2013 first-round draft pick Justin Pugh worked at right tackle during the recent New York Giants rookie mini-camp rather than the left tackle spot he was familiar with at Syracuse University. The move is not slowing him down.
"The whole thing is protecting insides," said Pugh. "Beforehand it was always right hand-right foot and now it's left hand-left foot so it's just getting used to that and getting comfortable in that stance. I feel really comfortable now and we'll just keep building it on this summer.
"You want to get your plays down first and then once you go out there it becomes more of that muscle memory so that's something I'm getting on now. Just identifying the defenses and knowing the schemes and executing and just getting more and more comfortable. More and more reps is what's going to get that."
At Syracuse Pugh and rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib played for Doug Marrone, now the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. They ran a pro-style offense, which Pugh feels has both players a step ahead from where they're expected to be.
"I think having Coach Marrone we ran a lot of pro-style offense so we ran a lot of similar plays and I'm familiar with these runs," said Pugh. "The passing schemes, we did a lot of the same stuff just different names, so just learning to speak that language is something we're working on now. So coming down the road we'll be not a step ahead of the game, but a step ahead of where so many rookies would have been so it's good."
Pugh has had a chance to speak to a few veterans on the team, including the Giants starting quarterback, who gave the rookie some advice.
"I talked to Eli Manning the other day. He's a real down-to-earth guy. For being a two-time Super Bowl champion and the face of the franchise he's real down-to-earth," said Pugh. "He told us whatever we need to come to him and told us what to expect with the rookie stuff going on the next few weeks."
It seems that Pugh is adjusting to the pro style of practice very well and his handling himself the right way. He's looking forward to the summer as more practices come along. Not to mention he already really enjoys being a New York Giant.
"It's awesome. It's great, you go out there practicing and you see the New York skyline. It's a great experience, a great organization, it's first class," said Pugh.
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