Coach Speak: Charles McMillian on Jordan Pugh

Safety Jordan Pugh (Dave Einsel/AP)

Sixth-round pick Jordan Pugh hopes to carve out a niche in Carolina by playing well in sub packages and dominating on special teams. Will he find an unlikely stumbling block in between his ears? As Texas A&M defensive backs coach Charles McMillian reveals to Panther Insider, Pugh may be "too analytical."

For Panther Insider's exclusive interview with rookie Jordan Pugh, click here.

The Carolina Panthers selected Jordan Pugh (5-foot-11, 196 pounds) in the sixth round of the draft (No. 202 overall). Pugh came off an impressive four-year career at Texas A&M in which he bounced back and forth between cornerback and safety. Pugh performed well at both spots and finished his Aggies career with 221 tackles, 19 pass breakups and four interceptions.

For more, we check in with Texas A&M defensive backs coach Charles McMillian.

LaShana Marshburn: Tell us about your experience coaching Jordan.

Charles McMillian: One thing about Jordan Pugh is he's very well mannered and very respectable. He's the type of guy you would want to marry your daughter. He's very religious and just a wonderful person. As a player, the one thing about him is that he was a very smart player and sometimes he was too smart, to where he was too analytical and it kind of slowed him down from playing the way he should have played. To have somebody like that on the field, as far as being a leader and trying to correct other young men, it shows why he got drafted.

LM: Did you notice the Panthers showing interest in him prior to the NFL Draft?

CM: There were several scouts coming through here. I wouldn't say all 32 teams, but there were several I talked to about Jordan. I talked to a whole lot of scouts about Jordan, giving them my opinion. But the Panthers got a great football player and now he just needs to go in and be successful.

LM: What does Jordan add to Carolina's defense?

CM: The one thing he brings to the table is knowledge as far as trying to understand the game. He will study. He won't sit back. He wants to ask questions and that's because he wants answers. Maybe most people would say, "Maybe he's not as smart as you think, because he is asking questions," but he wants to make sure the coaches know what they are talking about [laughs]. The key thing he brings to the Panthers is just being able to help out the secondary as far as going in and being able to play man-to-man. He just has to make plays and show he is an athletic player.

LM: How did your program at Texas A&M prepare him to showcase his skills in the Big Leagues?

CM: It starts with Strength and Conditioning Coach (Dave Kennedy) always keeping the players in top-notch shape. Another factor was Jordan's skills as far as coming in and being a student of the game and not hesitating to ask questions. He questioned things that were being done because he wanted an answer about everything. Everything had to have an answer and that's where he became sometimes too analytical.

LM: Other than being less analytical, where does Jordan need to improve?

CM: The one thing he needs to improve on is to just go out and play and have fun. He needs to let the game come to him and not always think about things. He has the speed and the physicality as far as the body build he has. The main thing is just to go out and play and don't worry about making a mistake.



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