The New York Giants met with the media yesterday, and Giants.com reports that head coach Tom Coughlin and several players remain optimistic heading into the final quarter of the 2013 season. One of those players, Justin Tuck, was available for a brief interview, which was posted on Giants.com.
Tuck has been one of the faces of the New York Giants franchise since being drafted out of the University of Notre Dame in 2005. Tuck has thrived on the big stage, and he was a force in the two recent Giants' championship runs. But the veteran defensive end's contract expires after this season, and he remains unsure if he will be back with Big Blue.
When asked about his performance on Sunday night against the Washington Redskins, Tuck was circumspect about it. He said, "Honestly, it means we got a win. That’s how I’m looking at it. Honestly, it wouldn’t have meant anything to me if we had lost that football game. With the win you can kind of feel good about the performance but also understand that the only reason why I was able to get sacks was because 10 other guys were doing their job on the football field. Obviously, the NFC Player of the Week is (me), but I can give credit to my entire defense. The coverage was there, guys were pushing the pocket and you just happen to fall in, it happened that I was the one to get the sacks."
The Giants are still on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. New York would likely have to win the remainder of their games and have help in the form of losses by both Dallas and Philadelphia to get in. But to do so and with a quarter of the season still at play, veterans, like Tuck, will have to continue to play at a high level.
Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin indicated that while he is pleased with Tuck's play this season, he also expects it to continue moving forward. Yesterday when asked Tuck's consistency, Coughlin replied, "Well, he’s played solid. He really has. He hasn’t had the number like he did last weekend, I understand he’s the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, as well. To me, he’s played solid, he’s practiced hard, he’s worked hard, he’s done things by example. He’s been one of the guys that I’ve referenced when I talked about if we got credit for the sacks that we’ve kind of missed or whatever, he’s one of the guys that I would include there. To have six and a half sacks, to play the way he’s played, to move in over the guard at times, to start outside at times, I think he’s played a solid game and we now can hopefully expect that he’ll do the same for the remainder of the season."
If Tuck continues to play like he did against the Washington Redskins, the general manager Jerry Reese's decision will be made w hole lot easier.