Justin Tuck on Osi, McCoy and (sigh) Tiki

June, 30, 2011
6/30/11
10:28
AM ET
Not sure how I missed this yesterday, but it was pretty good. It's Justin Tuck on Mike & Mike in the Morning, talking about the Osi Umenyiora-LeSean McCoy Twitter flap, about Umenyiora's desire to leave the Giants if he doesn't get a new contract and about my personal least favorite blog topic, Tiki Barber.

Tuck
Tuck
On Osi vs. McCoy:
"One, yes, we will take that personally, and two, he might want to watch some film before he talks about a defensive end of Osi’s quality. Honestly, I think Osi’s stats back up the [fact] that he’s a pretty good NFL football player. I think social media’s made people cowards. Where I’m from if you had a problem with somebody, you said it to their face and that was it. And now I think people are hiding behind computers and smart phones. I don’t know what’s gotten into these young guys. But it is what it is. I thought Osi handled it the right way, and we’ll handle it on the football field when we get that opportunity."

Just to be clear: As far as Tuck is concerned, "handling it the rigtht way" included calling an opposing running back a "chihuahua or poodle," a "Twitter gangster" and "Lady Gaga." As if we needed another reason to get fired up about the two Giants-Eagles matchups this season. These guys don't forget things like this.

On the chances that Umenyiora won't even be a Giant this year if he gets his wish, Tuck said he hoped that wasn't the case but that he didn't fault Umenyiora for trying to improve his situation in a system where players rarely get that chance:
"I’m just rooting for Osi and hoping he’ll be a Giant this year, but if he’s not, I obviously wish him the best of luck. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without him."

And yeah, the Mikes asked about Tiki, basically wondering why it is that NFL players have been so quick to criticize Barber when they're normally reluctant to say anything negative about other players or even former players. Tuck said Barber "did kind of turn some guys off" during his final season with the Giants, and of course no one there liked the critical things Barber said about Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin after he left.
"It’s unfortunate, because I think people forget how well he played the game when he was here. You go to Giants Stadium and they put up highlights of old players, when they put up Tiki, they boo him. He said some things he maybe shouldn’t have said and it’s kind of coming back to bite him right now."

Tuck is always worth a listen.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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