Justin Tuck, Post-Game, 09.12.10

EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. - SEPTEMBER 12: Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants speaks to the media on the field after defeating the Carolina Panthers on September 12 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Giants defeated the Panthers, 31-18. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Q: What did you say to the team before the game?

A: Every game the offensive line and defensive line get together, after we do our drills we talk about the keys to this team on this day. Today it was about stopping the run and create holes for our running backs to run. So I told them that we could definitely beat this team up front. We didn't need the secondary, we didn't need the quarterback, we didn't need the running back, it was all about us up front. The D-line needed to stay square. We need to get some penetration. They weren't going to rush for however many yards they did last year. I told our offensive line that we're bigger and better than them. Go out there, make some holes. Go out there and open up holes for Bradshaw and Jacobs to run through. I get kind of emotional. I'm not going to tell you what else I said.

Q: How different is this team today than it was at the end of last year?

A: I think last year we kind of got in a funk. And with the injuries we had, it was hard, hard to get the ball rolling in the right direction. But last year was last year, and we'll leave it be. But this year, we started off right. I told our group that we started off last year 5-0, we just have to keep pressing, it doesn't matter what we do. For us, this Carolina game, we'll watch it again, but it's over with, we've got to move on. Every week guys have got to pull their weight, never get stagnant, never get excited about what we did in the past. We have on tape that we started the season 5-0 and we know how that ended. Every week we've got to come in and work.

Q: Is this a step toward claiming identity?

A: I think so. Last year, in the last five games, I think that team averaged about 190 [rushing yards] or something like that, so holding them to 89 today really took them out of what they wanted to do offensively. That's huge. I don't care, that's a step. Turnovers have always been a big key, and our secondary did a great job. Osi did a great job coming across and stripping the ball. That's something that Perry's been preaching, and it's good to see us go out there and take the coaching and execute on the football field.

Q: How good does it feel to have a secondary like that?

A: We've got some ball hawks in the secondary from the number one secondary guy to the number seven, all those guys attacked the ball. For me and all our guys up front, I was kind of having more freedom. They are going to give us some time to get after the quarterback, so for us we go out here and say we've got the opportunity to go. I love it, I tell the guys that every time. We are going to try our best not to give them time, but if they max protect y'all cover it and they did that today. And that's the reason why later in the game when we got them out of what they wanted to do in running the ball we were able to rush them.

Q: Feel good to unleash pass rush in second half?

A: Absolutely. Regardless of what a defensive end tells you, usually he loves a pass rush more than he does to stop the run. It was good to kind of get after them. I was mad at myself for missing a few, but it was fun. That second half was truly fun. And that's how I remember the Big Blue defense playing. That's what we need to get back to on a consistent basis.

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