Continuing with the news non-news time of year I thought I'd highlight an article by CBS Sports' Pete Prisco in which he looks at the most overrated and underrated players on each of the 32 NFL teams. e did that he also highlighted who he believes is the most overrated player in the entire NFL -- Justin Tuck of the New York Giants.
Fans of NFC East rivals and many other fan bases around the league have often accused ESPN and the media in general of having a bias for New York players -- especially the Giants. The GIants are a historic franchise who have a successful history, and have the most Super Bowls in the league since their first Super Bowl win in 1986 (I try to throw that in whenever I can). But is there anything to it? I think it's fair to say that all fan bases generally over-react (positively and negatively) to the talent on their favorite team because they are so involved, and I do get a feeling that there is somewhat an East Coast bias in general in the NFL. But what about Tuck specifically?
Here's what Prisco said about Tuck:
So who's the most overrated player?
This year's pick is Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. He spent more time doing Subway commercials than playing good football in 2012. He was a definite name-over-game player with just four sacks. There were times on tape where you wondered how he was ever a dominant pass rusher.
I generally try to ignore such talk, but Tuck is vitally important to what the Giants are trying to accomplish this season and I think Tuck's career in general is an interesting case of a guy who has flashed dominance, but also been extremely ordinary for entire seasons. We've talked at length about Tuck here and Ed even ran a poll Friday in which at the current time of this writing 60 percent of Big Blue View readers think Tuck will register between 6 and 10 sacks in 2013. Is that a fair expectation? Tuck has 49.5 sacks in his eight NFL seasons and 33.5 of them have come in three seasons (2007, 2008, 2010). In fact in three of his last four seasons Justin Tuck has sack totals of 4 (2012), 5 (2011), 11.5 (2010), and 6 (2009).
These are not the numbers of an All-Pro defensive end or dominant pass rusher -- they are more in line with the numbers of an Anthony Spencer than a DeMarcus Ware. Is it possible that Tuck was not only the most overrated player in 2012, but that he's been one of the most overrated players in the league for some time?
It's hard to come to terms with because of how dominant Tuck was during the Super Bowl run in the 2007 season and subsequent 2008 season, but with each passing year it might be the truth that Tuck was a flash in a pan. At one point a dominant two-way defensive end who excelled against the rush and pass. That's the player Giants fans hope to see this year after a number of disappointing years. Tuck is being called out again this offseason and with Osi Umeinyora gone and Jason Pierre-Paul dealing with back issues, Tuck emerging from his nearly four-year funk to regain the magic of 2008 could go a long way to fixing what has ailed the defense.
Just as an FYI, Prisco's most underrated Giant is newly-signed tight end Brandon Myers.