When the New York Giants drafted Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh with their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, many thought it spelled the end for David Diehl. However, that's not how the situation has played out to date, with Diehl taking a pay cut to remain with Big Blue. Furthermore, Diehl has made it abundantly clear that he will not be ushering the youngster into his former position and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride expects a tireless battle for the right tackle position.
"The man's not going to give up the job," Gilbride said of Diehl on Thursday. "He doesn’t care who’s been drafted. He was a low draft pick when he got here and nobody expected a lot from him. What’s he been playing now, 10 years? I think it’s going to be very difficult for somebody to unseat him."
Of course, that is not to say it's impossible. Pugh will have every opportunity to win the starting right tackle job out of training camp — it's just not going to be easy.
"But certainly Justin was brought in for just that reason, to be a starting position. Not necessarily to unseat David, because David can move inside and be a guard for us. So it looks like Justin has enough ability down the road. It looks like he moves well enough. It looks like he’s intelligent enough. It looks like he’s focused, professional, determined. So I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t become a good player for us down the road."
In the mean time, Pugh better get his credit card ready — he's got a lot of very large veteran teammates to feed once training camp begins late next months.
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