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New York Giants News & Notes: Can Justin Tuck Become a Leader on D?

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Ed posted a link to Justin Tuck's press conference transcript yesterday, but in case you missed it, the NY Post has a story about his comments regarding becoming a team leader. Tuck offered up his injury as the reason he couldn't step up and be a leader this year, saying: "Because of the injuries this year I didn’t feel like I had a right to kind of say some of the things that I wanted to say because I couldn’t practice 100 percent and I couldn’t do the things that I wanted to do to kind of lead this team by example. For me, personally, it is tough to jump on some other guys for what he is doing when I am not able to do it myself.

I actually respect that mindset - players should lead by example first and foremost. It's pretty rare that guys will want to follow a bad player just because he happens to be vocal. It's also very rarely instantaneous that a player becomes a leader right away. It even took Michael Strahan a few years to step into that role, which he at best shared with Jessie Armstead during the Jim Fassel years. Once Armstead left, Strahan became the leader of the Giants defense for most of this decade, and when he retired it seemed like that mantle fell to Antonio Pierce. With it looking unlikely that Pierce will return, and even unlikelier that he'll be any good if he does return, Tuck should be the player to step up and become the true leader of the defense next year. I think he has the qualities to do it, now it's up to him to step up.

Here's some links to enjoy with your morning coffee:

  • Ralph Vachianno lists some candidates for the Giants defensive coordinator position. Ed covered most of them in his posts yesterday, but one new name that jumps out is Dom Capers, whom the Giants coveted before they hired Steve Spagnuolo. It's interesting that most of these guys seem to run 3-4 defenses. I'm not sure if that's because the Giants are seriously considering the idea, or if the names being floated around are just the "sexiest" ones so they are being reported regardless of how they'd fit with the Giants. I'm sure we'll learn more pretty soon.
  • The NY Times 5th Down Blog asks you to name the Giants/Jets new stadium, since they still haven't found a corporate sponsor. As much as I hate corporate sponsors, I also hate the idea of "Meadowlands Stadium." Do you guys have any good ideas? I wouldn't mind something like "Tradition Field" or "War Memorial Stadium" - something with a real name, but not a corporate one.
  • The NY Times Blog finished its countdown of the top 10 Giants moments at Giants Stadium, but the Daily News has a photographic history of Giants Stadium. They have also come up with the "All-Swamp Team," which has a pretty fair split between Jets and Giants. I'm a little disappointed that George Martin wasn't on the team, but I can't really argue with Mark Gastineau making it, and no way should Martin go over Strahan. The only pick I really disagree with is Kerry Rhodes, who seems more hype than substance - surely the Giants and/or Jets have had better safeties than him over the years, right?