AP Photo - Bill Feig
So, the Giants didn't play this Sunday and it was the best weekend they've had in more than a month. That's because both Dallas and Philly lost, which moved the Giants into a second-place tie with the Eagles, just one game behind the Cowboys. Justin Tuck spoke about the state of himself and his team as the Giants came out of their bye weekend.
Q. Were you able to heal up to a satisfactory level during the bye week?
A. I feel pretty good. I think the bye week really helped me. I got a lot of rest, a little peace of mind and got away from football. So I feel kind of revived a little bit.
Q. Do you think a week away to clear you heads is something that is going to help this team?
A. Well, time will tell, but I think it did. In our little work that we did today it seemed like guys were happy to be back. Guys were bouncing around and things like that. But like I said, it only matters what we do on Sunday so we will find out this week.
Q. What do you think about the way the division took a step back towards you guys while you were off with both the Cowboys and Eagles losing?
A. It shows you how tough the NFL is. If somebody would have told me that going into that game Dallas was not going to score a touchdown until the last seconds of the game when the game is out of reach… Then I thought Philadelphia would be able to handle the Chargers, but that is why you go play the game. Lucky for us it puts things back in reach with us. But we still can’t worry about what other people did, we have to go out there and win games for ourselves.
Q. The way you guys finished up going into the bye (week), do you think this team is capable of taking advantage of the opportunities now that the Cowboys and Eagles lost?
A. I hope so, that is the plan. Again we have to have a great week of practice this week. We have a tough team coming in with Atlanta. For us, we can’t worry about what Dallas or Philadelphia did. We have to come out and hold serve at home, our fans are going to be up for this one. We have to match the intensity that Atlanta is going to bring. If we can do that, I think things will work out for themselves.
Q. When you said you felt revived, specifically not banging on the shoulder. How much did not banging on that help you?
A. It helped me a lot. It allowed me to do the strengthening work that I needed to do without having to go out in practice and bang on it and gave it a lot of time to recover. So it felt pretty good today and today I will probably do a little bit more work on it and then have tomorrow off. Hopefully I will be that much better coming up this week.
Q. How much of an issue has it been the last couple of weeks?
A. I don’t know, it’s been an issue, but if you go out there and play then you go out there and play, but obviously I haven’t been 100 percent. But I don’t make that an excuse; nobody is 100 percent in this league right now.
Q. What did you do to get away too clear you head?
A. I went to the mountains and (hunted?).
Q. What did you catch?
A. I didn’t catch anything, it was peaceful though.
Q. What were you trying to catch?
A. Whitetail deer.
Q. You got none?
A. I didn’t get any.
Q. Michael Turner got hurt; that probably does a lot of damage to the Falcons. What are your thoughts on that and what does their team look like without him?
A. I expect him to play, honestly. Until he is ruled completely out then we will start to prepare for other people. But until then we are preparing like Michael Turner is going to play.
Q. Did you look more at the Falcons than you normally would have because of the fact that you didn’t play last week? Are you a little bit more ahead of the game or are you still going to wait for Wednesday for that?
A. I mean today we didn’t work on anything Falcons-wise. We have seen film on them and we saw the game (last week). Other than that, that is pretty much it. But yeah, mostly we will just dive into it on Wednesday.
Q. When you talk about your shoulder being an issue, is it more of the physical pain of it or the limitations of wearing that harness?
A. A little bit of both.
Q. Do you see a point this season when you will be able to take the harness off?
A. That’s the plan. When will that happen? I don’t know. Will it happen? I don’t know, but that is definitely the plan and I would love to get to that point.
Q. The team looked at itself, scouted itself and did all that. Do you think now with the break that you have a clear idea what went right and certainly what went wrong the last four games?
A. Yeah, we need to play better.
Q. That is a very wide-open generic statement. I am sure you guys deal in specifics everyday. Is there anything specifically that maybe upfront from your point of view that needs to get done on a more consistent basis?
A. We need to stop the run more consistently and sack the quarterback more consistently. That is pretty much it. Everybody can make football very complicated, but when it comes down to it, it really isn’t.
Q. It’s often said that sacks are just numbers and it’s about getting pressure on the quarterback. It sounds like you are in a position that you really want to get the quarterback taken down?
A. Well, yeah, I agree with you. I guess we kind of proved ourselves wrong because I have felt like we have gotten a lot pressure on quarterbacks. But they have still completed passes on us, so yeah, that is definitely a focus for us. Coach (Mike) Waufle often says we need to stop hitting the triples and start hitting homeruns.
Q. If you don’t get into the Falcons until Wednesday and you have tried to forget about everything during the last few days of the bye, what specifically was the primary mission of coming back today?
A. Get some work in. Normally you have a bad practice after the bye week because guys haven’t been on the football field. Today we really used that to get the cob webs out and get some running in and things like that so we can come back Wednesday and really hit the ground running.