Appearing at his second annual celebrity billiards tournament in Manhattan on Thursday, New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had some interesting things to say about what happened to his team after a 5-0 start in '09. In fact, he's now turned his team's miserable finish into a positive in his mind.
"A lot of people said our fans got spoiled because I’ve been here five years and we made the playoffs four years in a row and we won the Super Bowl," Tuck told Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger. "But I don’t agree with that. I think we got spoiled. We started 5-0 and we kind of looked at ourselves like, ‘Here we go again. We’re going to make the playoffs and blah, blah, blah.’ And then we got hit in our face and we couldn’t respond. So it’s a good thing. I’m actually happy all of that happened last year because now we have to start from square one."
Hmm... I'm not sure Giants fans could identify with Tuck's "happiness" over last season's finish, but we probably shouldn't take him literally. Tuck is obviously hoping that all the glow from that Super Bowl title is finally gone. After last season's 3-8 finish, there should be no sense of entitlement. And Tuck also talked about the Giants spending their No. 15 overall pick on a defensive end.
“You have two Pro Bowl defensive ends and you draft a guy 15, that’s a good thing," said Tuck. "Sometimes a fire needs to be lit. Sometimes you can get complacent in being the No. 1 guy and knowing you’re going to be the No. 1 guy. That’s cool with me. I like friendly competition. And that’s what it’s about. It makes everybody better. That’s something we have on this team at every position, especially on defense now."
Tuck didn't bring it up, but he was plagued by a shoulder injury caused by Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams in Week 2 of the season. He's fully healthy now and he's ready to return to his '08 form. And one more thing: Tuck occasionally contributes to our "comments" section. Keep an eye out for him.