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Justin Pugh: 'I'm the right tackle for the New York Giants'

Pugh bristles at continued questions about possibility of move to guard.

Justin Pugh
Justin Pugh
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Pugh doesn't want to hear any more questions about a position switch.

"I talked to coach. I'm the right tackle for the New York Giants," Pugh said emphatically during Monday's 'Baggy Day' at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "I really don't like that question. I came here to play tackle, they ask me to move they ask me to move. You guys keep asking me if I want to move to guard, but I think I've done a pretty good job at right tackle. I plan on playing there."

During his two seasons with the Giants that is a question Pugh has been asked countless times. He played left tackle at Syracuse University and his apparent positional versatility was one of the reasons the Giants drafted him 19th overall in 2013.

Pugh became the team's starting right tackle Week 1 of his rookie year and his been there even since, with the exception of two games he missed this season with a quad injury.

'I feel very good about where I'm heading and the player that I'm becoming.' - Justin Pugh

The Giants' offensive line was improved in 2014 from the porous group the team fielded in 2013, but there is still work to be done. The Giants struggled mightily to run the ball this season. They were 23rd in the league with an average of 100.2 yards per game and 30th in yards per rushing attempt at 3.6 yards per carry.

The Giants expect to be able to add a healthy Geoff Schwartz to the lineup next season. Adding another starting-caliber lineman is also possible, with some believing the Giants might look for a right tackle and move Pugh inside. Pugh obviously doesn't want that, and it doesn't sound like that is the current plan.

Whether that will be the plan when the 2015 season rolls around is anybody's guess. Free agency and the 2015 NFL Draft could impact where he plays next season, regardless of what he wants and the fact that he has settled in nicely in the right tackle slot.

Heading into the off-season, Pugh said he believes he is "the best that I've been since I put on a Giants uniform."

"I think I'm better now than I was at any point during my rookie season. I think right now heading into this offseason I feel very good about where I'm heading and the player that I'm becoming. Mentally I've gotten stronger, my technique has gotten much better and I think that's showed in the past four games. I've been much better, but I have a ways to go."

The Giants have interesting offensive line decisions to make. Do they move Weston Richburg from left guard to center, the position he was drafted to play? Which guard spot does Schwartz play? Do they think John Jerry, a solid pass blocker but a horrid run blocker (-16.4 PFF grade, 76th among 78 guards who played 25 percent of their team's snaps) is a keeper?

All of those decisions could affect Pugh. Whether he wants to move or not.