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Giants “toying” with Justin Tuck as a linebacker

Justin Tuck AP

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora has been experimenting with standing up as a linebacker at camp after signing with the Falcons as a free agent this offseason, but that might have been in his future even if he stayed with the Giants.

The Giants have been doing their own experiments at camp and one of them features Justin Tuck without his hand in the dirt. Tuck called it something the team is “toying around” with in hopes of increasing their versatility on defense. Mathias Kiwanuka, who is back at defensive end after years of moving between end and linebacker, thinks Tuck can handle the responsibilities of the new gig but Tuck says there’s an adjustment.

“It is weird,” Tuck said, via Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger. “It’s something I did in high school and college more, but eight years of putting your hand in the dirt — it’s a little different. But like I said, I’ll do whatever the coaching staff feels will help this defense out.”

The Giants have long been a team that looked to their front four to generate pass rush, with their main wrinkle coming via the “NASCAR” package of four defensive ends on the field at the same time. That didn’t work for them last season, though, and the maneuvering with Tuck shows they’re at least open to trying some different things in order to get their defense back to the desired level.

Coach Tom Coughlin said that they are toying around with players with the second and third teams as well, so there’s a chance you’ll be seeing some of this new look during the preseason.

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15 Responses to “Giants “toying” with Justin Tuck as a linebacker”
  1. pnut87 says: Aug 8, 2013 8:17 AM

    Couldn’t hurt. They might have the weakest LB corp in the league and plenty of pass rushers. I’m hearing a lot of positive things about Moore. If he can do some damage standing up, I say do it.

  2. bigbluenationdb says: Aug 8, 2013 8:20 AM

    This maybe one of the dumbest things Fewell has come up with yet. Tuck needs to be playing with his hand down and rushing the passer. Didn’t they realize this with Kiwi. Tuck would get killed in any type of pass coverage. Asking a 30 year old DE to play LB. Dumb!

  3. catfish252 says: Aug 8, 2013 8:26 AM

    Thanks Justin for being a PRO about it. Big Blue loves you Man.

  4. jgreiner9 says: Aug 8, 2013 8:40 AM

    It’s not just with Tuck. They said they’ve been lining up in some 4-3 and 3-4 packages during camp so far. They even have been using Cullen Jenkins at defensive end some so far.

  5. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 8, 2013 8:42 AM

    You know what’s more weird? Tuck’s odd, cone-shaped head.

  6. nukeslovesit says: Aug 8, 2013 8:47 AM

    Lets go Gmen

  7. censoredagain says: Aug 8, 2013 8:54 AM

    Tuck has slowed down so much in recent years that I’m failing to see how throwing him in as a hybrid LB/DE could possibly benefit anyone

  8. larrydavid7000 says: Aug 8, 2013 9:09 AM

    O midgets please please make this move happened. RGIII and MORRIS will be licking their chops to embarrass your pathetic defence again and again.

  9. bach2112 says: Aug 8, 2013 9:30 AM

    Dude has only 9 sacks for last 2 years. Osi was better as a part time player. See gonads placing 3rd in East only cause eggles so bad.

  10. buckhuckster says: Aug 8, 2013 10:09 AM

    He’ll play any position without complaining.

    Justin Tuck doesn’t give a….. darn.

  11. charmcitychampions says: Aug 8, 2013 10:17 AM

    Giants defense is a total joke.

  12. justinstuckrule says: Aug 8, 2013 11:31 AM

    I hate to say the haters are right, but my man Justin Tuck isn’t even an OK DE any more, no way he’ll be able to play as an LB. He was never a great pass rusher and his best pass rushing was when he played inside as a DT in the 2007 Super Bowl run. It’s all over for my Giants. Time to rebuild.

  13. raynman49 says: Aug 8, 2013 11:32 AM

    Doesn’t matter, he’ll be injured and won’t play much anywhere.

  14. bookofelisha10 says: Aug 8, 2013 3:02 PM

    i love tuck but the only thing i could see tuck needing to change is coming into sundays like he actually wants to play football.

    for the last 2 years outside of the superbowl hes played like he wants to retire.

  15. excessivedrinking says: Aug 8, 2013 10:04 PM

    Tuck needs to stay at DE. He is way too slow to be an OLB.

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