Justin Pugh: Giants offensive line has to prove naysayers wrong

Justin Pugh understands the Giants offensive line has much to prove this season. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Justin Pugh knows what many are thinking about the New York Giants’ offensive line.

He is well aware that the O-line is considered to be a major question mark and knows how some don’t think much of the Giants’ front line.

“Well, we haven’t really put anything out there on tape and really prove them otherwise,” Pugh said when asked if he takes criticism of the offensive line personally. “That is our job. We know what we have in that room and know what type of guys we have and how capable we are.

“Until we go out there and prove it, people can say what they want to say,” Pugh continued. “We can’t worry about it. What their opinion is of us is none of our business. We have to go out and work and get better.”

The Giants’ line has much to prove this season and injuries haven’t helped. Tackle Will Beatty (pectoral) is out until at least October and Geoff Schwartz is still making his way back from a foot injury.

However, Pugh says first-round pick Ereck Flowers is developing nicely in place of the injured Beatty. And Pugh thinks he and Flowers could make for a nice tandem on the left side for years to come with Flowers at left tackle and Pugh at left guard.

“He has progressed a lot since OTAs,” said Pugh, who had a dental procedure done on his back right molar. “I am excited to see where he’s going. I saw in that game against Cincy, we were communicating very well. If you are playing on the same side with somebody, you have to have a certain chemistry with him. And (we) are getting that every day, more and more.

“It is exciting and hopefully me and him will be on that left side for years to come.”

On the other side of center Weston Richburg, head coach Tom Coughlin said he likely will start John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse at guard and tackle. Coughlin said Schwartz will get “his opportunity to play in there” as well.

With so many weapons on offense, the line has to give Eli Manning time to find his receivers while establishing the run game, which finished 23rd in the NFL last season (100.2 yards per game) as well.

“This offensive line, we don’t have someone that has been to Super Bowls and won Super Bowls like a Chris Snee or David Diehl,” Pugh said. “So really now it is a lot of guys creating their own identity because we are not the ’07, we are not the ’11 team.

“All those guys aren’t here anymore obviously besides Beatty, who is hurt right now,” Pugh continued. “So we have to create our own identity -- lead by example and let our style of play do the talking.”