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New York Giants DE Justin Tuck: We Can Be the No. 1 Defense in the NFL

August 23rd, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Doug Rush

New York Giants defensive end and captain Justin Tuck is making a pretty bold prediction, but very confident statement about the current defense, as he feels that not only is it improved from a year ago, but he feels that it could be the best in the league, as he told Zack Braziller of the New York Post on Thursday.

'Justin Tuck: Calm Before the Storm.' photo (c) 2009, Heath Brandon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

“The ceiling is the No. 1 defense,” he said after practice on Thursday, perhaps forgetting the Giants were 31st in defense a year ago. “That has to be in your thought process. We have the talent to do it. I don’t think anybody in that defensive meeting room can allow themselves to think that we can’t do that.”

Last season, the Giants finished 31st in the league due to allowing too many points late in the season, plus their inability to generate a pass rush and inability to stop the run; a major reason why they finished 9-7 and out of the postseason the year after winning Super Bowl XLVI.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese knows his defense struggled, which is why he took it upon himself to make drastic changes; which saw Cullen Jenkins replace Chris Canty, drafting Johnathan Hankins, Damontre Moore and Cooper Taylor, and signing Aaron Curry and Dan Connor to the linebacker unit; all moves that could be pivotal to a defense in need of a boost.

The defense has seen its bumps, bruises and share of injuries; as Jason Pierre-Paul is recovering from back surgery, but could be back before Week 1, Corey Webster has been bothered by an MCL strain and a groin injury and Tuck himself has dealt with back tightness and a hamstring issue, but has been able to practice and play in the preseason.

Part of the reason why Tuck has made such a bold statement is due to the new faces he sees on the Giants like Moore, Hankins and Jenkins; players that he will line up aside of on the defensive line and look to create havoc with in 2013.

“I’m looking at some of the guys we picked up and the new faces in the draft and free agency, we have a chance to do something special this year,” Tuck said. “I’m excited about it.”

The Giants defense will be put to the test this Saturday night when they take on the New York Jets and rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who is looking to win the starting job over Mark Sanchez and will be making his first ever NFL start.

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Tags: Aaron Curry, Corey Webster, Cullen Jenkins, Damontre Moore, Football, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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8 Responses to “New York Giants DE Justin Tuck: We Can Be the No. 1 Defense in the NFL”

  1.  kujo says:

    No you can’t.

  2.  giantsou812 says:

    From 31st to 1st
    this fan would be happy for a middle of the pack defense.
    Another talk is cheap segment.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    this is Justin Tuck at his worst
    over selling

  4.  Krow says:

    I’m sure it wasn’t meant like it sounds.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    I can’t believe so many want to slam him. If you read further he says being #1 has to be your mindset. What he’s saying is right. Before he talked too down and now it’s too positive for fans. Tuck has a better mindset going into the season which is positive for his performance. A leader like him can’t have the attitude I think I can. Unlike some the player I saw play the last game looked to be following his own word with play on the field. Tuck might not be what he was in his prime but I think he will be improved and a much better player than last year.

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Tuck happens to be saying the right thing, for two reasons. First, he seems re-energized (those of you who think he isn’t far better mentally and physically than he has been in two years aren’t paying attention, and those who thought he didn’t play well against the Colts must have watched a different game than the one I attended because I thought he looked VERY good) and prepared to lead, and leaders set high goals. And second, if a few things break their way they COULD become the top defense in the league.

    Of course the latter is a long shot, but I am convinced that this could be the best defensive front in the NFL if JPP comes back fully healthy. I also really like the way the defensive backfield is looking and think most fans don’t recognize what a huge difference it could make having Prince step into a starring role and ‘Trel able to do some roaming around after balls. If the pass rush comes, and it should when we have JPP, Kiwi, Tuck, Moore and Jenkins up front, then this defensive backfield is capable of turning the ball over, frequently.

    If two things occur then Tuck’s pronouncement starts to look pretty darned realistic. The first is if Terrell Thomas looks anything like his old self (we’ll soon know a lot more about that). The second is if ANY of the linebackers show the ability to stuff the run. In Williams, Paysinger and Rivers we have the cover linebacker skills that should be the envy of plenty of teams. We all moan and groan about the weaknesses of our linebackers, but it’s really only the ability against the run that we’re bemoaning. I don’t know if any of our guys can step up in that regard, but Connor seems a good candidate and there’s even the possibility that we’ll have one of Bosworth, Tracy, Herzlich, Muasau or Curry trying to do it as well and at least partially succeeding.

    Do I think they will be a #1 defense? No. Do I think they will be one of the top 5? No. Do I think they could be one of the top 10, and that combined with our offense more than good enough to compete for a title? Yup. And I see nothing but good in the defensive captain setting a high goal for that group, particularly because he appears ready to try to meet that standard himself.

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