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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Justin Tuck monitoring player workouts

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was on "First Take" this morning, promoting the charity billiards tournament he's got going on later this week in New York City. During the interview with Julie Foudy, Tuck addressed a couple of topics, including the ways in which he, as a leader of the team, is keeping up with his fellow teammates during the lockout.

"I've been text-messaging guys and calling guys and making sure they're working out," Tuck said. "Because this lockout could end at any point. So I'm making sure they're working out and keeping their bodies in the right place."

Tuck said he and Eli Manning have talked about getting the whole team together for a workout in late June or early July, but that no plans for that are yet set.

"Our veteran guys who are up here in New Jersey, we'll get together and sit down and make sure the New York Giants are ready to roll once this lockout ends," he said.

As for when that might be, Tuck is as hopeful as anyone is that it'll be soon. But he's not exactly using rhetoric that's right out of the NFLPA handbook. He sounds as if he's not eager to wait out the court rulings.

"We have to sit down. Both sides need to lock ourselves in a room and sit down, because that's the way issues are resolved," Tuck said. "We've got to put our egos aside. You're talking about billionaires who are used to getting their way, and millionaires who are kind of used to getting their way, and it's just going to take us putting our egos aside ... As players, we're doing this for the players who come after us, so 10, 15, 20 years from now, players can say, 'Back in 2011, those guys really stood up and helped make this game into what it is today."

Tuck has been busy during the lockout. He recently toured his home state of Alabama to help those affected by the tornado outbreak. He told Foudy that, along with JP Morgan Chase, he donated $300,000 to the city of Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas. He also worked while down there to help put tarps on damaged roofs and do repair work on damaged schools and libraries.

"Just going in and letting everybody know we're here to help," Tuck said. "It was a really heartfelt trip for me."