Pugh trying to learn from Diehl

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
7:02
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Justin Pugh only has three training camp practices under his belt.

But he’s absorbing everything he can from the guy he’s also competing against -- David Diehl. Diehl, Pugh and James Brewer are all in the mix for the starting right tackle spot, but Diehl is the favorite considering his vast experience and versatility.

[+] EnlargeJustin Pugh
AP Photo/Seth WenigRookie Justin Pugh could challenge David Diehl for the right tackle job.
“I just get out there, work and learn from him,” Pugh said. “Obviously he’s been there 11 years and he knows the ropes and how to play the game. I know my role, right now I’m running with the two’s. Just learn as much as I can from him and go out there and compete. That’s all I can do.”

Pugh has been working exclusively at right tackle with the second unit. But eventually the Giants may try him at other spots, since they drafted him in part due to his versatility.

Right now, the Giants want him to learn as much as he can at right tackle and see where the competition goes.

“It will work its way out whatever which way it’s going to work,” offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said. “Both of them are getting the same amount of reps and we have a lot of confidence in David Diehl.”

Flaherty, who talked to reporters prior to the team’s third practice of camp on Monday, said it’s still too early to evaluate how Pugh is doing.

“We haven’t put pads on,” Flaherty said. “I want to see him in pads. Right now, he’s done the best he can do. He’s shown that he is the reason that we drafted him ... a good solid football player. I’m anxious to get the pads on and then we will know a little bit more.”

The Giants have been practicing in shells thus far, but will put on shoulder pads Tuesday. They are scheduled to practice in full pads for the first time Thursday.

Until then, Pugh is trying to master the playbook as fast as he can while perfecting his technique with help from the veteran offensive linemen and Flaherty.

Once that happens, perhaps Pugh can push Diehl for the job. But the ultra-competitive Diehl is ready for a fight.

“David Diehl is a highly motivated guy in the first place and competition always brings out the best,” head coach Coughlin said. “So between the two of them competing and battling away for positions and especially with Brewer in there as well, that’s all good stuff.”
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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