New York Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck has visions of Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor striking fear in their opponents dancing in his head. But how do you make the 2013 Big Blue defense like that unstoppable force of the 80's? Well, for Tuck, he feels that it starts in the minds of the players. Or, as Michael Strahan once famously put it, "believe it and it will happen."
“I hope the defense can carry this team," Tuck told the New York Post at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday. “We have to think like we’re going to carry the team and that might be something we’ve lacked, because our offense is so good, thinking we can kind of give up this and that. That has to kind of get away from us this year and approach the game in a way that those ’80s teams did with LT [Lawrence Taylor] and Harry [Carson] and all those guys. They went into the game trying to kill the offense and not give ’em anything. We have to get back to that on defense."
As far as Tuck himself? He feels like he's rounding into shape mentally and has his mind where it needs to be in order to be effective on gameday.
“I think for whatever reason I feel more alive in a football sense than I have in a long time,’’ he said. “That’s a huge motivation for me this year."
Going into the final year of his contract, Tuck also understands it may be his last as a Giant — another make-or-break season, if you will. And after two less-than-quality seasons, there's a lot riding on how well the veteran performs this year. But that's not something Tuck appears to be concerning himself with. Instead, he appears fully focused on helping the team in any way he can.
“I’m not going to allow this whole circumstance to put pressure on me to perform," Tuck said. “I put enough pressure on myself to perform. I don’t care if I come out the first three games and have 10 sacks, I don’t want to hear about a contract at all because that’s not my focus. I’m worried about getting this football team into another Super Bowl and then winning it. If that happens, all the rest of that will take care of itself."
Call it a gut feeling, but we fully expect Tuck to return to his former glory in 2013 and lead an impressive and relentless defensive charge.
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