Giants General Manager Jerry Reese told his team that everyone is “on notice” that missing the playoffs again this season isn’t an acceptable outcome.
One of the ways the Giants can avoid that fate is by getting more productivity out of defensive end Justin Tuck than they’ve gotten in either of the last two regular seasons. Tuck says he’s healthy, something that hasn’t always been the case over the last couple of years, and he’s not lacking for motivational material.
Tuck’s entering the final year of his contract, so he had plenty of motivation to step things up before Reese laid down the expectations for the season on Saturday and the defensive end said there’s another group that’s providing fuel for his fire.
“The one thing I don’t need is motivation, but I’ve found a lot of that this offseason. For all you ignorant writers out there, thank you,” Tuck said, via Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com. “I’m my biggest critic. There’s nothing you guys can write or say that I probably haven’t thought or found ways to try to already correct. I know where I am personally and I know what I’m still capable of doing. The process is to come out here and work and make sure, come Sundays, I can go out there and do that.”
With Jason Pierre-Paul’s status for the start of the season in doubt after back surgery, Osi Umenyiora in Atlanta and the Giants in need of getting their front four back to being the source of concern to opposing offenses that it has been on their best days, there will be a lot of writers — ignorant and otherwise — pointing out that Tuck’s return to form is a vital piece of the puzzle this season.