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New York Giants DE Justin Tuck Says Defensive Tackle Competition Heating up at Camp

August 9th, 2013 at 12:30 PM
By Doug Rush

The New York Giants struggled to stop the run last season, to in order to shore up that part of the defense, general manager Jerry Reese focused on bulking up the middle of the defensive line.

Following Chris Canty's release from the team after four seasons, the team replaced him with former Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins, who is slated to start alongside Linval Joseph, but they will get competition from the others in camp.

Second-round draft pick Johnathan Hankins has looked really good early on and even claims to be a "run-stuffing specialist," which will come in handy to their unit, and former Pro Bowl tackle Shaun Rogers is healthy and has seen snaps on the first team from the veteran presence he provides. After those four is Marvin Austin, who has to rebound from injuries and being a non-factor since being drafted, former Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson, veteran signee Frank Okam and former draft pick Markus Kuhn, who is currently on the PUP List.

That's seven players who could be looking to fill at most, five spots on the team, which is why the competition at camp has been fierce and one that defensive captain Justin Tuck has told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York has referred to as one that's heating up.

"I see a lot of guys making our defensive coaches and coaching staff’s job very difficult," Tuck said. "The competition is very heated in that group. I really don’t see anybody out of that group that won’t have a job somewhere. Obviously we can’t keep them all. Everybody in our defensive line room, I think, has an opportunity to play somewhere this year. And that’s rare." 

Tuck noted that Hankins has been one of two people in camp that has really caught his attention. The other is a potential protege of his in third-round draft pick Damontre Moore, who will see time at  both defensive end and linebacker.

"The two rookies we have on our D-line have stood out," Tuck said. "Moore has been explosive, he is still very raw. But you can see the talent and the potential there. Hank is quiet and he is more polished. You can tell he’s obviously had a great coach and played big-time football [at Ohio State]. Both of them have but Hank seems to be a little more polished right now. But the potential of Moore is off the radar right now."

In the past, Tuck had lined up as a defensive tackle as well to use his speed to push past the interior lineman, but with the Giants considering switching to a 3-4 defense in 2013, Tuck could see some time at a pass-rushing linebacker, which could add another dynamic to a defensive line that needs to show improvement if they want to contend.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Cullen Jenkins, Football, Johnathan Hankins, Justin Tuck, Linval Joseph, Markus Kuhn, Marvin Austin, Mike Patterson, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Shaun Rogers

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8 Responses to “New York Giants DE Justin Tuck Says Defensive Tackle Competition Heating up at Camp”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    fanfor55years says:
    August 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM
    9 defensive linemen
    7 linebackers (counting Tracy as a linebacker)
    5 cornerbacks
    4 safeties
    3 special team specialists
    3 tight ends
    9 offensive linemen
    6 wide receivers
    3 quarterbacks
    1 fullback
    3 running backs

    If you carry three quarterbacks you can only have a 4th running back (or an 8th linebacker, which they’ll probably want, especially if they’re going to really use some 3-4 defenses) if you either go with five wide receivers or take a chance on only eight offensive linemen.

    I’d say you cannot go with only 8 offensive linemen, especially because the guys who would substitute for Diehl and Baas (or anyone else) if they get hurt need to work with Flaherty and the linemates on timing from the very beginning of the season.

    I think the move to some 3-4 means that Curry could eventually prove incredibly valuable. He has size and speed that makes him perfect for the OLB position in the 3-4 if he “gets” it. Connor is very familiar with a 3-4 system so also valuable. I think they’ll keep an extra linebacker and go with only five wide receivers. I don’t see them going with a fourth running back unless they decide to keep just two quarterbacks, which I still think is unlikely.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      that’s a BIG “if”.

      Also, his size and speed hasn’t really translated into his play in the NFL. Some guys just can’t cut it in this league no matter how big, strong and fast they are.

      Connor hasn’t done much in camp. If they keep an extra LB’er keep an eye on Bosworth. He’s been impressing.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I have said if Conner is not starting his roster spot is in question. One of the 3rd string LBs based on special teams and good enough play at LB could knock Conner off the roster.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Basically are in agreement. I had 11 DL but that’s including Tracy but if Ojomo doesn’t perform like a player we have to keep then we won’t. Today would lower my DL to 10 or 9 depending how you define Tracy. I do have an extra roster spot because I had Hynoski start on PUP. That spot would be a 4th RB. And the 3rd QB goes to a 6th CB. If we keep 3 QBs it seems to me that a 6th CB is better than a 6 WR. TT and/or Ross can help at safety if needed. And with TT and older players like Webster and Ross we could use depth. And that 6th CB is likely much better on special teams than a 6th WR.

      Don’t forget WR wise we have Collins sitting out 4 games who could be our 6th WR when he returns. And that we have Hill that would likely replace the 6th CB.

      I don’t see the need for extra LBs because we have 4 3-4 OLB types in Moore, Tracy, Kiwi and JPP.

      I agree it has to be at least 9 OL. Because Diehl, Boothe and maybe Snee are in their last year with us we need young players to develop on the NFL roster. Maybe we can PS Herman but we still probably need a true backup center in Cordle because Boothe is likely starting. Mosley, Pugh and Brewer are locks. Cordle makes the most sense unless Herman really impresses and we can’t hide him like Ojomo last year.

      I think you’re underestimating the value of a 4th RB with two inexperienced guys with durability guys in Wilson and Brown. Even Torrain if kept has many durability questions himself. I think its more risky to keep only 3 RBs then only 2 QBs. There’s a better chance that 2 RBs get hurt than Eli getting hurt.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        They’ll pick up a RB off the FA list if one gets hurt.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          Precisely. Neither Torrain nor Scott is likely to get grabbed by anyone anyway. Both should be available if needed.

          Why give up real talent in making those last few roster decisions just to keep a mediocre player? The ONLY place that approach makes sense is at quarterback, where because this team is looking increasingly competitive you HAVE to have someone backing up Eli who could win a game for you if called upon. Nassib would have only seen much in the way of serious NFL players in team practices because he will usually not be going against starting lineups in preseason. Throwing a kid in like that is not going to work. The rookie class from last season that did so well started out the season as their teams’ starters and got a LOT of experience during the preseason and in the first month of the season against quality players. And all three had far better competition in college than what Syracuse sees.

          I hope Nassib pulls off a miracle and shows us he SHOULD be the backup quarterback this year. But I think there’s almost no chance he can do it.

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