Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh fires back at Rex Ryan, Lamarcus Joyner

Joyner: Cards offense is 'pretty-boy football'
Posted at 3:25 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 18:28:37-04

TEMPE — It's no secret that some people are not fans of the Arizona Cardinals' new look offense.

The pass-first, up-tempo offense installed by new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and led by rookie quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray has been met with mixed reviews through two preseason games. But Oakland Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner, along with former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, are definitely not impressed.

Toward the end of the Raiders' preseason win over the Cardinals on Thursday, Joyner called the Cardinals' offense "pretty boy football," and Ryan said the Cardinals' offense is boring and "going to get whipped" in Week 1 of the regular season.

Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh fired back at both guys Wednesday.

"I don’t mind the pretty-boy (comment). I mean, we’ve got some good-looking guys, man. What do you want from us?" Pugh quipped after Cardinals practice. "I’d rather be called a pretty boy than ugly or something like that. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to play hard-nosed football."

Joyner sacked Murray in the end zone for a safety in the second quarter of Thursday's game. Pugh wasn't impressed.

"I don’t think he knows anything about offensive line play or what we’re trying to accomplish. He knows coverage. He came on one play and we just didn’t see him," Pugh said of Joyner. "If you want to troll, you better make sure you come correct, because I will correct you.

"It’s easy to talk smack when it’s third and 17 and you’re a (defensive back) and you know things are going to happen in your favor. I would love to see those same things be said when it’s third and (short) and we can run right at them. But when you don’t put yourself in a good situation to succeed, obviously people are going to have negative comments."

As for Ryan's comments?

"I think we’ve seen through Rex Ryan’s career, he always says things to grab your attention. He’s on TV now. You have to say things to kind of get people riled up, so I get that," Pugh said.

Pugh is entering his seventh NFL season and his second with the Cardinals. He knows trash talk is part of the game, and it doesn't concern him.

"That’s something that is part of this league — guys are going to talk. And if you don’t have success, guys are going to keep talking, so we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to shut them up," he said. "We’re running the same plays I’ve run everywhere in my career, so I’m not sure what some of these people are watching. It’s still football.

"I’ve been on really good teams, I’ve been on really bad teams. When things aren’t going well, things tend to snowball and pile on, and we’ve got to make sure that does not happen. We’re going to go out there and have some fun, and play some good football."

Pugh and the Cardinals have two more preseason contests before opening the regular season at home vs. the Detroit Lions on Sept. 8. Their next preseason game will take place at the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.