Justin Tuck went through the most painful season of his career last year.
He dealt with shoulder, neck, groin, ankle and toe injuries. He persevered and won his second Super Bowl and now he thinks he has to work even harder not only to remain a champion but to also stay healthy.
Tuck says that he may have not worked as hard last offseason as he usually does, due to the uncertainty with the lockout, and he thinks that may have played a part in his injuries.
"I am just working harder," Tuck said. "I think last year with all the uncertainty around football, I might've 'laxed' a little bit with my regimens and I guarantee you that won't be the case this year."
"They say that fatigue can make a coward out of all of us," he continued. "When you get fatigued you start 'laxing' on technique, things like that. I think part of the reason why I got hurt early in the year is because I let my guard down and I don't see myself doing that this year."
Tuck suffered a neck/stinger injury in a preseason game against the Jets that lingered throughout the season. The defensive end had shoulder surgery shortly after the Super Bowl. He hopes that working hard will keep him focused, healthy and help the Giants repeat.
"Stay healthy," Tuck said of what he learned in 2008 when the Giants tried to repeat as champs. "Always is [the key to repeating]."
"I think I said this the last time we won the Super Bowl," Tuck added. "When you get to the top of the mountain, you don't want to go back down."
So can the Giants repeat?
"Sure we can," Tuck said.
And already, Tuck has found some added motivation for this coming season.
"I'm not the odds makers," he said of hearing a prediction for the Giants to fail. "Obviously, the experts say we won't even make the playoffs so … a lot of people have told me about it."