New York Giants rookie offensive lineman Weston Richburg said he "didn't like it" last week when he was benched in favor of veteran Adam Snyder, the first time this season Richburg didn't start. Head coach Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo both noted, and approved of Richburg's reaction, to being removed from the lineup.
The fact that the second-round pick didn't sulk has turned out to be a good thing. Snyder couldn't make it to the end of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, and won't play this week due to a knee injury. Thus, Richburg will be back in as the left guard for the Giants this Sunday vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I didn't like it. It felt like preseason again. I just don't like standing there and not being able to help and play," Richburg said. "I think that is why every player comes to the NFL, to play. They don't want to be on the sidelines. It was tough, but I was ready and they needed me there at the end."
Coughlin called it "a good thing" that the benching burned Richburg.
"That shows me he wants to do it. He's competitive as heck and he didn't like it. Maybe we struck a chord there," Coughlin said.
McAdoo's theme was similar on Friday when talking about Richburg.
"Weston Richburg is a young player who is going to continue to grow, continue to get better," McAdoo said. "He had a good week of practice this week. Hopefully we struck a nerve and he is going to use it as motivation moving forward."
Richburg said he is simply trying to get better.
"I was a little disappointed last week, but this week I wanted to come out and get better at what I could control and that is playing football. I just tried to come out and really work on my technique. Just tried to get myself better so when the time comes I am ready to go back in and play," he said. "I wanted to focus this week on all the technical parts of it. I can hit and run and all that stuff, but it was footwork. Tightening things up and getting it to where it is a little better fitting into different plays. Tighten up footwork and making sure I am on my landmarks. Those were a couple of things I decided to do this week to try and get better."
Richburg, drafted as a center, played well early in the season at left guard but had struggled for several weeks prior to being removed from the lineup. We find out Sunday if the wake-up call he received against the Cowboys has proven beneficial.