Earlier this week New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said 2013 was an "all or nothing" season for him, vowing to be better than he has been since an 11.5 sack season in 2010. Wednesday, during an appearance on ESPN Radio New York with Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco, Tuck reiterated his commitment to returning to Pro Bowl form.
"I love this game," said the eight-year veteran. "I have a lot left to give in this game and I plan on giving it all before I'm done."
Tuck admitted that off the field issues have impacted his mindset the past couple of seasons, referencing four death in his family in a six-month time period, including two "very close" family members.
"I didn't see joy in life at that point. I obviously had a lot of great things going on in my life, I had just won a Super Bowl. I wasn't wrapped up in that, I was still looking at the negative things that were going on," Tuck said.
"Lots of people don't see the negatives in football. They see the money that we make, the media in our face and all this great stuff. They don't see the Mondays and Tuesdays when you get out of bed and you take 10 steps before you can straighten your back out."
Tuck admitted that he has done "some soul-searching" and said he is "probably at a better place mentally than I've been in a long time."
His outlook certainly can't be hurt by the fact that he and his wife are expecting their second child this summer, news that Tuck tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Tuck also addressed the Victor Cruz contract situation and the possibility that Manti Teo's, from Tuck's alma mater of Notre Dame, could be a target for the Giants in the 2013 NFL Draft.
"I think everything's gonna work out. We definitely need that guy lining up and doing his salsa all year for us. I think the Giants know how important he is to us ... it's just a matter of time.
"At the end of the day all that matter is when we are opening up all that matters is that No. 80 is out there in the slot."
"Nobody's even questioned what he did on the football field. Alabama might have exposed him a little bit, but Alabama exposed a lot of people," Tuck said.
"If we're lucky enough to have him I think it's gonna be a step in the right direction for us. I think he's gonna be a pretty good player. ... "The guy can play football. As long as he can have that locker room sanity I think he's gonna help whoever drafts him."