Tuck defends himself against criticism

AP

The Giants haven’t been the same this year.  Coincidentally (or not), defensive end Justin Tuck hasn’t been the same.

But Tuck disagrees with those who say he’s winding down.

“Eli [Manning], he’s your main guy and he’s playing terrible,” NBC’s Rodney Harrison told the New York Times this week.  “On defense, Justin Tuck?  He’s on his last legs.”

Tuck’s response was less than inspired.

He would know,” Tuck said of Harrison, via the Newark Star-Ledger.  “He has been there before.  I really don’t . . . That’s his opinion.”

(Yes, Justin.  Any NFL player who played for nearly a generation and then retired would know how it feels to be on his last legs.  Which would make him sort of qualified to spot when it’s happening to someone else.)

Tuck had a strong game on Monday night against the Vikings, but the 30-year-old hasn’t been the same guy he once was.  Regardless of whether he’s on his last legs or merely grasping for a second wind, the Justin Tuck of 2013 doesn’t perform as well as the Justin Tuck of past years.