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Justin Tuck Worried About Hakeem Nicks’ Lack of Communication with New York Giants

May 31st, 2013 at 10:45 AM
By Dan Benton

Although his agent insists he's not missing Organized Team Activities (OTAs) because he's unhappy with his contract, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has not communicated with the New York Giants since he said he was ready to assume a leadership role. And although missing OTAs isn't a major concern to defensive captain Justin Tuck, he admits the lack of communication is a bit worrisome.

'Eli Manning Warms Up with Hakeem Nicks' photo (c) 2011, Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

“That’s kind of worrying that you don’t communicate," Tuck told the New York Post on Thursday night at his R.U.S.H for Literacy charity billiards tournament at Slate NYC in Manhattan. “Hakeem is young, he might not understand the importance of that part of it but I’m not worried about him being ready for the season. I know Hakeem, wherever he is, he loves to work out, he’s doing what he needs to do to be ready for the year but that’s what coaches do, they’re supposed to be 'Get in here.' "

On Thursday, Nicks' agent, Peter Schaffer, made it clear that neither he nor his client were willing to discuss his absence from Giants' workouts, saying simply "Hakeem's good."

Of course, these comments raised red flags in the eyes of many, including a flock of fans who insist this holdout/non-holdout has to be money-related. However, there's nothing to support that as OTAs are voluntary and it's Nicks' right to choose whether or not he wants to attend. Then again, his absence isn't as much a concern with everyone as is the lack of communication.

“I definitely let the head coach, strength coach, position coach, I would definitely let them know," Tuck added. “That’s a respect of it. All of us want to be in OTAs, all of us love playing the game and want to be with our friends and our teammates and getting better. But sometimes you got other things you need to take care of and unfortunately this is only time in our busy schedule we might have opportunity to do so."

Head coach Tom Coughlin also addressed the issue on Thursday, claiming that Nicks had previously told him he'd attend OTAs "at one point," but that he had not heard a word from him since. And, as you might expect, that left the veteran coach in a mood that was less than chipper.

"Am I disappointed? No, I'm glad," Coughlin said sarcastically. "Certainly I am [disappointed]. At one point Hakeem told me he was going to be here, and then he was not here. In the strictest interpretation, everyone knows it's a voluntary program."

The second series of OTAs will conclude today (no media availability), with the final series scheduled to run from June 3rd through the 7th.

Also…

Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

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9 Responses to “Justin Tuck Worried About Hakeem Nicks’ Lack of Communication with New York Giants”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Demo – My view is Smith would have gotten similar treatment from other teams because their incentive is not to worry about his long term future. I’m not defending Philly’s history. I just think in this case Smith set himself up for failure knowing his knee wasn’t just a traditional ACL or similar.

  2.  Samardzija says:

    Tuck needs to worry more about his own under performing self..

    •  Eric S says:

      I simply don’t understand why people keep pushing this attitude about how Tuck should just shut up and worry about himself. He’s a TEAM CAPTAIN! Should Eli just shut up and not comment on it when asked? After all, Eli had a bit of a down year last year, he should just worry about his own underperforming self. We crave 24/7 coverage of our favorite team but some in here want our guys to never say anything and just shut up and worry about themselves? Would be a pretty sparse website.

      By all accounts Tuck has been focusing on his game. He’s sought out Tony Robbins to help get his mindset right. He’s been a visible presence all offseason and has been working his tail off. I’d much rather this version of Tuck who’s pushing hard work and in this case communication rather than the existentialist we’ve had the last 2 years.

  3.  Nosh.0 says:

    I think it’s important to remember that these are voluntary workouts.
    It’s not like anyone gave Rueben Randle a hard time for not working out with Eli in Carolina.

    Plus, all relationships fuction better when communication is occasionally abandoned.

    Cruz is foolish for missing workouts because that can allow Jurnigan and Murphy to demonstrate they can replace him. Obviously Nicks doesn’t have to worry about anything like that.

    The point I’m making here of course is that Nicks works harder on his game than Cruz or Randle. #88 cares more about football than those other guys. And most importantly, he cares more about being a New York Giant. It’s pretty obvious.

  4.  jfunk says:

    I don’t particularly care that Nicks isn’t at these. As has been mentioned, I’m much more worries about him staying healthy than getting extra reps.

    It does seem kind of weird not to make a phone call though. He and his agent KNOW that this will cause drama. If he had simply told the team “Hey, not gonna be there. Just going to stay home and keep doing my own workouts, trying my best to stay healthy.” then there wouldn’t so much coverage and speculation.

    Coughlin still wouldn’t like it, but that doesn’t matter. At least he’d be able to say “yeah, he told me he wouldn’t be here.” and be done with it.

    …especially since he already told them that he WOULD be there. If I tell my friends I’m going to meet them somewhere and decide not to go, I give them a call. It’s the polite thing to do.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Gee, it’s shocking that a guy going into a contract year, coming off an injury, knowing that the team is at loggerheads with the #2 receiver but intending to pay him richly (thereby setting a floor for what will be offered Hakeem), knowing that his timing with Eli is just fine after playing some ball with him earlier in the off-season, won’t show up for voluntary workouts that already cost Hynoski and Jernigan healthy starts to the season.

    The lack of communication? Probably because Nicks wants to be seen as a team leader so is somewhat embarrassed to have to talk to Coughlin and explain that while he intends to be exactly that he also has to protect himself and his likelihood of getting the very rich contract he deserves that will make him a rich young man.

    I don’t see this situation as much of a problem. I’ll worry when he doesn’t show up for mandatory work.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Oh, I’ll take Nosh’s bet with the proviso that if Hakeem is injured, and Cruz has already signed, that cancels the bet. But there is NO WAY that Hakeem Nicks isn’t getting more dollars than Victor Cruz to play football if both are healthy.

    The smartest thing Nosh has said in regard to Cruz is that he’s a fool to allow Murphy and Jernigan a shot at proving that they can produce in the slot position. The young man should sign, show up, and start taking the reps away from his competition. He is playing this way too cute. I have insisted all along that while you may not be able to replace Cruz’s game-breaking capability, the Giants CAN replace most of his production via a combination of a different slot receiver, a solid tight end, and Wilson and brown coming out of the backfield. That cannot be said of Hakeem Nicks. That’s why he’s the more valuable player, and that’s why he’ll be paid more, as well he should.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    Nosh –

    Look I don’t agree with F55 on the standpoint that Cruz is that he’s a fool to allow Murphy and Jernigan a shot at proving that they can produce in the slot position. Because it’s not about Cruz as much as it is about the slot position just being easier to replace than a #1 WR. Randle has talent and maybe someday could be a #1 WR but those type just don’t grow on trees. Whereas slot WRs even if not Jernigan are much more readily available. But I’m not saying a JAG slot WR would produce like Cruz I’m saying slot doesn’t need produce like Cruz has for this offense to be successful. Cruz’s production is a bonus but not the foundation of what the offense needs to run effectively. A #1 WR that draws coverage like Nicks or Plax has been around these last 7 years because it has been needed. Cruz is a great player but he just doesn’t have close to the same impact that Nicks has on the entire offense that Nicks has due to the position he plays. Without Nicks drawing double coverage Cruz probably becomes the player we saw the last part of last year. What does Nicks do without Cruz? He produces like the first 2 years of his career.

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