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Justin Tuck: Landon Collins wasn’t “snubbed” for Defensive Player of the Year

Tuck hopes not getting DPOY further motivates Giants’ young safety

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC Practice
Landon Collins at Pro Bowl practice.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having the best statistical year of any player at the safety position in more than a decade, New York Giants‘ safety Landon Collins didn’t take home Defensive Player of the Year last weekend at NFL Honors. The award went instead to Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack.

Some feel Collins was snubbed. Former Giants-great Justin Tuck doesn’t share in that sentiment.

“I don’t think he was snubbed,” said Tuck during a Super Bowl Sunday meet and greet with fans at Empire City Casino. “Does he deserve it? Sure he does. I think there’s three or four guys who deserved it. But you can’t say that any one person was snubbed.”

Tuck had high praise for Mack, having seen him first-hand as a teammate with the Raiders in 2014 and 2015.

“I had the great fortune and opportunity to play with Khalil Mack for the last two years and know how hard he works, know how offenses try to attack him. Everybody says his numbers are down this year. Sure they are because he’s getting double-teamed every play!”

Mack has recorded 30 sacks and forced eight fumbles in his first three years in the league. He’s established consistency, something Collins should aim to duplicate, according to Tuck.

“Does Landon have an argument, a gripe? Absolutely. What he did this year was phenomenal. I think Khalil might’ve nudged him out just for the fact he has more of a track record,” he said. “If you look at Khalil in his short time in the league, this is something he’s done every year in and out. I thought he should’ve won it last year.”

Tuck does, however, have a few words of advice for Collins.

“I’ve always said this: Whenever I think I should’ve won an award, I made sure I came out next year and proved it. That’s what I told Landon. If he does (next season) what he did this year, anywhere close to it and he doesn’t win Defensive Player of the Year, then he got snubbed. This year, he got his name on the map and now he needs to continue to do that.”