Should New York Giants Tinker with Justin Pugh?
Over the course of his rookie season, Justin Pugh developed into the only rock along an otherwise failing offensive line. The New York Giants struggled to develop any kind of offensive rhythm in 2013, as Eli Manning found himself constantly under duress and flushed from the pocket.
The Giants drafted Pugh out of Syracuse in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Pugh went on to start all 16 games as a rookie. Although he went through some growing pains early on, Pugh was able to learn quickly and adjust even quicker, eventually finding his comfort zone. Pugh seemed to improve with each game and the Giants are hoping he is just getting started.
However, other parts of New York’s offensive line are still question marks at the moment. Left tackle Will Beatty is still recovering from the broken leg he suffered in Week 17 of last season. Even when he was healthy, Beatty struggled on the left side.
The idea has been thrown out there to move Pugh over to the left tackle spot. It doesn’t seem like it is going to happen at the moment but is always possible, especially if struggles continue into 2014.
Personally, I don’t like the move because of how well Pugh played at right tackle last year. It doesn’t seem right to move one of your stronger players into a role he is not as familiar with playing.
However, on the flip side, I do understand the necessity for it if Beatty is not healthy or his performance does not improve. First, I would look at alternative options and the free agent market. I would try to patch up the left tackle position with other players and leave Pugh at right tackle. If problems persist beyond that, it may force New York’s hand.
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