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Pierce says Tuck isn’t the same player

alg-justin-tuck-jpg Getty Images

For players who retire into the media, the biggest challenge comes from telling it like it is regarding guys who currently play the game.

That challenge becomes even more, um, challenging when the player used to play with the player whose play he is criticizing.

As it relates to Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck, former Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce passes the test.

“I played with Justin Tuck and have a tremendous respect for him,” Pierce said on Friday’s edition of The Michael Kay Show.  “But he has not been the same player emotionally, mentally or his play in the last three years.  It’s just the facts.  He came on late last season and once Antrel Rolle and a couple of other guys said he had to pick it up, but for the most part, he’s a situation, third-down, passing situation defensive end.”

Pierce doesn’t know why Tuck has changed as a player.

“When you watch him on Sundays, you do not see the energy, you do not see the fire he used to play with,” Pierce said.  “And I don’t know why.  I don’t know if it’s personal stuff going on or maybe he’s physically tired.”

Complicating matters for Tuck is that he currently has a shoulder injury.  “For me, the guy I played with, when he was there, a lot of energy, a lot of passion, brought it each and every play, each and every snap, loved to play the game,” Pierce said.  “I heard him mention it last year before the run [that] he didn’t know where his mind was at, or if he was into the game.  His comments this week, the same thing.  As much as I want to give the answer, that’s really a question he has to answer.”

We’ve got a feeling that Tuck soon will be asked the question.

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25 Responses to “Pierce says Tuck isn’t the same player”
  1. kelvinmchale says: Dec 22, 2012 8:39 AM

    He caused a safety on the first play of the Super Bowl last year. Looks pretty good to me.

  2. kelvinmchale says: Dec 22, 2012 8:40 AM

    Maybe those Super Bowl rings are weighing him down.

  3. larrydavid7000 says: Dec 22, 2012 8:50 AM

    all of the midgets defense lineman don’t look good at all.Especially when they play the REDSKINS. HA HA HA.!!!!!!! It’s so funny watching them not knowing what to do on any given play.Especially when they are unblock. !!!!!!!

  4. rajbais says: Dec 22, 2012 8:52 AM

    I felt that way last year. Why does Subway still do commercials with him?

  5. strctlylo says: Dec 22, 2012 9:03 AM

    pierce isn’t the only one that’s noticed it. tuck is a shell of his former self. all season long with his ‘woe is me’ attitude and quotes. he doesn’t win one-on-one matchups, doesn’t play the run particularly well anymore, and he has no motor. you never see him chasing a play down field. is it just him slowing down because of age and wear and tear. i’m sure that’s most of it but fact is, he’s not the same player. giants need to realize that, and the sooner the better. appreciate tuck for all he’s done, but the giants need to find a replacement next year and let him finish out as, pierce says, a third down DE or rotational player because having him on the field for three downs, isn’t going to be productive for the giants.

  6. bigbluenationdb says: Dec 22, 2012 9:05 AM

    Huge Tuck fan but maybe his body is just breaking down. You factor in the extra playoff games over the past 5 years is equivalent to playing another half season. On top of that his off season is cut short due to extra games. I think that is why it is so hard for teams to repeat or even get back to playoffs.

    As much as I hate the Patriots what they have done over the past decade has been so impressive. They continue to remain in the hunt every year. It helps they play in the terrible AFC East but they continue to get it done every year.

  7. gcsuk says: Dec 22, 2012 9:08 AM

    larrydavid7000 says:
    Dec 22, 2012 8:50 AM
    all of the midgets defense lineman don’t look good at all.Especially when they play the REDSKINS. HA HA HA.!!!!!!! It’s so funny watching them not knowing what to do on any given play.Especially when they are unblock. !!!!!!!
    ———————————————————-

    Funny, I just don’t remember this many Redskins fans last year, while they were busy dwelling in the NFC East basement.

    Now all of a sudden, they have ALWAYS been here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The only thing you have won so far is the title “Most Annoying Fans in the NFL”.

  8. dirtmcgirt24 says: Dec 22, 2012 9:21 AM

    Pierce is absolutely right. And he would know best, as he was the same exact player his last two years, the so-called leader of the defense but ineffective on the field.

    I’ll be forever grateful for what Tuck has done. But the guy doesn’t have a passion for the game. He’s had family member pass. He’s constantly injured (his badass facemask is to help prevent his constant neck issues). He’s been to the mountain top twice, and as he views his role off the field, suck as his youth literacy campaign, he finds it hard to put in all the work for a game.

    So I don’t blame him.

    But so long as he’s being compensated to play, and so long as he’s wearing a C on his jersey, I expect maximum effort and production. You couldn’t drag a guy like London Fletcher off the field. But last time they were heads up, down by one score with 4 minutes to play, there was defensive captain Justin Tuck, watching from the sideline, distantly gazing at the field with his helmet in his hand. Fletcher would be on that field. Ray Lewis would be on that field. Every other defensive captain in the league would be on that field trying to get the ball back for their offense for one last shot.

    It’s no wonder they show up flat sometimes. Their leader isn’t leading.

  9. dohpey28 says: Dec 22, 2012 9:24 AM

    Actually, he is better against the run these days and last few years then as a productive pass rusher.

  10. rg3thetruth says: Dec 22, 2012 9:44 AM

    gcsuk says:
    Dec 22, 2012 9:08 AM
    Funny, I just don’t remember this many Redskins fans last year, while they were busy dwelling in the NFC East basement.

    Now all of a sudden, they have ALWAYS been here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The only thing you have won so far is the title “Most Annoying Fans in the NFL”.
    ————————————————————————————————

    We have def had some annoying fans come out but it’s not all of us! Although it did feel good to say we swept the Super Bowl Champs last year. But on this topic Tuck def has kinda disappeared. JPP seems to be the man now. It won’t slow the Giants down though, they’ve been great at finding awesome defensive guys!

  11. billsfan1 says: Dec 22, 2012 9:52 AM

    He is probably tired from beating the Pats in the SUper Bowl….

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 22, 2012 10:56 AM

    Why keep beating a dead horse? Every Giants fan knows you’re more likely to see him downtown at a Knicks game before you see him do something of note in a Giants game. Been that way for two years, injury or not. Just shocking that a guy who’s still not 30 can be washed up and has appeared to be since 2010.

    Locally, he’s spread too thin with appearances, commercials, etc. but the guy just looks worn out in every facet even off the field when I have seen him.

  13. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 22, 2012 10:58 AM

    However, Tuck has a lifetime pass from me, so that’s why I don’t rake him over the coals for playing like Cedric Jones or Kenny Holmes.

  14. n0hopeleft says: Dec 22, 2012 11:03 AM

    Justin Tuck has 2 rings. Antonio Pierce has 1.

    The Redskins have 0 in decades.

    I’m sure Tuck really gives a crap about what anyone has to say….

  15. pointwithinthecircle says: Dec 22, 2012 11:09 AM

    What you should remember is that THE Skins beat the giants 3 of 4, sending young manning to sideline with that same look, as if some too his security blanket.

  16. gcsuk says: Dec 22, 2012 11:24 AM

    pointwithinthecircle says:
    Dec 22, 2012 11:09 AM
    What you should remember is that THE Skins beat the giants 3 of 4, sending young manning to sideline with that same look, as if some too his security blanket.
    ———————————————————
    Skins won the last game by 1 point. Not exactly what I would call a trouncing or a beat down. I’d call it a win that was aided by luck. The same kind of lucky bounces and breaks that the Giants caught last year, the kind of breaks that help EVERY team win. The Skins are getting them this year, the Giants are not.

  17. anon5121 says: Dec 22, 2012 11:30 AM

    Redskins fans are strange.

  18. kingcarlbanks says: Dec 22, 2012 11:32 AM

    @Mr Wright
    Don’t ever invoke the name Kenny Holmes again. I was excited as hell when the Giants signed him, thinking we were getting a steal after watching him in Tennesee, and a great bookend for Strahan. Boy was i disappointed..

  19. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 22, 2012 12:03 PM

    hahaha I can’t count how many times I yelled at the TV about #90. Thankfully, JP has erased the stench that came with that number.

  20. CKL says: Dec 22, 2012 12:20 PM

    AP was a guy who when he played I could not STAND him. But I like him a lot now that he’s in the media. He’s kind of like Rodney Harrison, he’s not afraid to call out his old teammates even though he still clearly loves his team. Good for him, that’s his job now.

  21. realfann says: Dec 22, 2012 2:05 PM

    Don’t tell Peter King, he’s been writing what a key player Tuck is for the Giants. Hasn’t noticed he’s been playing poorly.

  22. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 22, 2012 4:02 PM

    Pierce just better be glad his neck chased him into retirement, because we WERE trashing him, while we’re just whispering about Tuck and choosing to look the other way because he’s all class. Pierce was fat and slow his final year and a half, and an extreme liability in coverage AND against the run, lest he forget.

  23. axespray says: Dec 22, 2012 4:23 PM

    maybe it’s become too routine for him…. maybe a change of scenery or a different challenge to give him direction/a goal to achieve … idk

  24. manningbowl88 says: Dec 22, 2012 5:01 PM

    always been a huge tuck fan but i been saying this one for almost 2 full seasons now..ill always like tuck but he just doesnt seem to be interested in it.. it seems he always has a down attitude and alwaays needs someone to embarrass him before he steps it up.. i think its more mental with tuck than physical

  25. kev86 says: Dec 23, 2012 8:50 AM

    Pierce is right. Tuck is still pretty good but takes a lot of plays off. Something is def. off with Tuck this season. Could be a combo of things.

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