Tuck's Take
Getty Images - Chris McGrath
Getty Images - Chris McGrath
Giants Insider
Posted Dec 16, 2008


Here's what Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had to say in the wake of New York's disappointing defeat to Dallas.

How do you feel and do you think you are going to go through the same thing in practice this week where you build up to playing?
I am a little beat up today, but I don’t feel as bad as I did at the beginning of last week so I am looking forward to going through practice and getting ready for Carolina.

Was the flight home from this loss any different than the last flight home after a loss because of the sense of urgency late in the season?
I would probably figure it is more a sense of urgency. I think the flight back this week was a litt le bit more painful just because of the magnitude of the game and who we lost to, but we are still positive. Obviously we know that we put ourselves in a situation where if we win this game, basically we control our own destiny. Guys’ spirits are pretty much up, I saw a lot of guys in today and I feel like everything was as usual.

When you guys look at your offense is there a level of concern because they are not operating the same way they were with Burress and Jacobs out there?
Honestly, not really. There were some times at the beginning of the year when we (the defense) were not operating the way we have always operated so our offense picked up the slack for us so we have to do the same now. Our offense will get back on track; we are not worried about that. We just have to continue to play pretty good defense and everything else will handle itself.

How important is the number one seed and home field throughout the playoffs?
I am not really looking at that. Obviously it would be a great thing for us to win it, but I really don’t care either way. I think we have proven that we play pretty well on the road anyway, but I think that first round bye is very important for us.

So you don’t think there is much of a difference between the number one and two seed?
Nah. I guess this is my opinion, but it really doesn’t bother me at all.

Does it feel to you guys that you are slumping at the wrong time?
Yeah, obviously we are slumping because we have lost two games in the row and it is at the wrong time because the playoffs are right around the corner, but we do still have two games left in the regular season and that is ample time to turn it around and get back on a high note heading into the playoffs.

What do you feel like the key is to turning it around?
We just have to make more plays and win more games, simple as that.

Is there some comfort in knowing that last year in week 15 you guys had a pretty bad game against Washington and obviously things worked out pretty wel l?
Only if we come back and play well these last two games. Last year is completely different from this year. It is a completely different set of circumstances and we really can’t even focus on what happened last year because it isn’t the situation we are in right now. We have a big game against Carolina this week, we all know it, we know what is at stake in it and I really expect us to come out and not only try, but really right the ship because let’s call it what it is, we haven’t played well the last two games for whatever reason that may be and no one wants to go into the playoffs like we have the last two games. We are very confident and positive in the fact that we can turn it around like I said and head into the playoffs on a positive note.

Have you noticed how well the Panthers have been playing lately? They are starting to look like they are the hot team right now?
They have. I have noticed, especially the last two games, they really have imposed their will on the teams and they still play great defense and their running game looks superb right now. It kind of looks like our running game early in the year and obviously that is where we want to be at. My motto has always been, ‘to be the best you have to beat the best,’ and right now Carolina, like you said, is probably the best team in the NFL. They look that good to me. We know we have our hands full, but we feel as though when we play Giants football we can handle anybody and that is what we have to get back to doing.

Is it surprising to you a few weeks ago you probably would have thought you guys or maybe Tennessee was the best team in the NFL and now you say it is the Panthers?
In the NFL it goes up and down. At the beginning of the year we were not around the top teams in the NFL and we go on a couple runs, win a few games,20and then we are there, then Tennessee is there, now Carolina is there. It really doesn’t matter at this point in time. As long as you have your best team come February that is when it really counts so I am not really worried about rankings or necessarily how other people perceive us. The best team will come out in the end and then you will all know.


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