The Big Blue legend spoke to ESM about the modern New York Giants’ endeavors as a showdown looms in Arlington.
As he proved over 11 NFL seasons…all but the final couple spent with the New York Giants…Justin Tuck is a man of many talents. For his next trick, Tuck hinted that he’d like to prove he’s capable of a skill many Twitter users have bestowed upon him.
Similar surnames have led some football-minded users to believe that Tuck is not only still an active NFL participant but is also making gridiron history: some have credited Justin Tucker’s league-record 66-yard field goal earned during Week 3 action to Tuck, apparently missing the final two letters attached to the Baltimore kicker.
Tuck believes he’s capable of such a triple…but he’s going to need some help.
“60-mile an hour wind behind me? Absolutely, I’d kick it,” Tuck told ESM with a smile.
Tuck returned to New Jersey this week for a charity golf tournament hosted by former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation. The two-time Super Bowl champion was one of many New York legends, including former blue teammate Victor Cruz, ready to take a few swings at Alpine Country Club in Demarest, but the happenings of the current bearers of blue weren’t far from Tuck’s mind.
By the time Tuck hit the links, the Giants (1-3) were hours removed from their first win of the season, a 27-21 overtime triumph over the New Orleans Saints. Though New York has struggled in the early stages of the season, a prime opportunity to reinsert themselves into the NFL playoff conversation awaits in the later portions of this Sunday afternoon’s action in the form of a divisional showdown with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).
While the idea of the Giants’ win in New Orleans launching a playoff push is far-fetched to some, Tuck knows how one game can change the course of an NFL season: the 2007-08 Giants began the year with losses in their first two contests before erasing a two-possession deficit en route to victory in Washington. The Giants would wind up with 10 wins before shocking the world with their magical run to Super Bowl XLII, which yielded the first of two Super Bowl rings for Tuck.
Tuck felt it was hard to compare the modern Giants’ endeavor in the Big Easy to that fateful afternoon in Landover 14 years prior. He did, however, notice the missing ingredient on display against the Saints that allowed a struggling franchise to finally take a step forward.
“There is some measure of change that happened this week that wasn’t necessarily (there in) what happened weeks before that,” Tuck said. “The coaches and the players know what that is: that might be how they practice, that might be how they watch film, that might be just the thought process that they were going into this game with or kept throughout the game. In other games, they might have been like oh, we’re down again.”
“That mental capacity just decreased throughout the game. When they kept a level head and just said, listen, let’s just finish this in the fourth quarter you typically play well right?” Tuck continued. “I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but you know that team knows it, that coaching staff knows it, and hopefully we can find a way to recreate that weekend (in New Orleans) week in and week out.”
To Tuck’s point, the Giants trailed by as much as 11 last weekend against the Saints before ending the game with 17 unanswered points. It was the Giants’ first win after trailing by multiple possessions since September 2019.
Though Tuck won’t claim to know or understand the current mindset of the Giants’ players and coaches, he appears to have faith in what head coach Joe Judge is building. Tuck revealed that he has been in contact with Judge, who has called upon Big Blue alumni to assist in the current build.
“He wants us in the building, he wants us to be involved. He wants us to kind of continue to showcase what we did and the things that our players did, to have a successful team,” Tuck said of his relationship with Judge. “I think that’s smart on his behalf because we have a lot of knowledge. You think about the guys who’ve come before this team and the success that we had and the failures that we learn from. I think it’s important for us to kind of showcase that.”
“What you need to know about Joe Judge is that he’s a worker…He’s not going to get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. He’s going to go do his job every day and just become like that blue-collar coach that has normally had success with the Giants.”
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags