New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has been asked over and over this offseason about his sub-par play the past two years and whether or not he can still be a Pro Bowl type player. Yahoo! Sports Shutdown Corner was the latest to broach the subject with the Giants defensive captain.
"I don't think I've played as consistently as I've wanted to," Tuck told Shutdown Corner this week, during a short media blitz for Gillette at the concept shop STORY in New York City. "A lot of times, numbers are the first things people look at, which really doesn't tell the story, but I'm my biggest critic. I know the quality of football player I am, and what I can do to help the team out., The Super Bowl year and deep into other years, I was battling injuries on and off, but I'd say that I can be my own worst critic. I haven't played anywhere near where I wanted to play, and I hope this year changes all that."
Tuck also did a terrific interview with John Schmeelk of Giants.com is which he talked about his own play and his expectations for the team in 2013.
Giants rookie defensive end grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan played his college football at Texas A&M. Now that he is with the Giants his allegiance has changed -- and he apparently isn't afraid to tweak his former favorite team.
"I grew up a Dallas fan and, you know, I always watched the Giants," Moore told the Landry Hat. "Those were always the guys beating Dallas, and I like, I didn’t like them. Now, that I’m on that side, I can be with the winning team."
"Definitely," Giunta said. "Finishing the way we did, everybody has a real sense of urgency this year to get back to playing the kind of football we did at the end of the 2011 season in that six-game stretch and playing that kind of defense.
"In his defense, he breaks his hand, and it set him back a little bit not being able to use his hands up in press coverage. He struggled in the end when we didn’t have a lot of continuity back there. He did have a tough year for himself."
ESPN's John Clayton thinks this could be another season in which the NFC East champion wins only nine or 10 games.
The guess here is that the winner of the NFC East will be a nine- or 10-win team and will not secure a first-round playoff bye. Because the top teams in the NFC East are so close in talent, it's likely that the winner of the division will be no better than 4-2 in divisional games and very likely 3-3. The Redskins were 5-1 in the division last season thanks to sweeps of the Eagles and Cowboys.
I don't see any NFC East team going 7-1 or 8-0 in non-divisional games, so I think it will be hard for any of them to secure the 11 or 12 wins that probably will be needed to secure a first-round playoff bye.
Nevertheless, don't discount the chances of these teams if they make the playoffs. The Giants won two recent Super Bowls even though no one considered them great teams. The Redskins have Robert Griffin III coming back at quarterback. If he's healthy, anything can happen.
Valentine's View: That means another roller-coaster ride of a season that comes down to the last couple of weeks and hoping that you win the "right" nine or 10 games. Clayton, though, is probably correct.