Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: November 2, 3:52 PM ET
Justin Tuck: Lots of Steelers holding
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck believes the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense has been the beneficiary of some loose officiating.
"I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder," Tuck told ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Thursday. "They've done a very good job protecting Ben (Roethlisberger) -- they don't hold on every play. But we've seen a whole lot of it."
The Giants host the Steelers on Sunday.
This isn't the first time a member of the Giants has voiced his displeasure about what he perceived as excessive holding by an opponent.
Three weeks ago, prior to a game against the 49ers, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride targeted San Francisco defensive end Justin Smith.
"Smith is a beast on the inside -- he's strong, he does as good a job (as anybody) of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place," Gilbride said. "He never gets called for it, so he gets away with murder."
Niners coach Jim Harbaugh took exception to the comment.
"Kevin Gilbride's outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith's play is, first, an absurd analogy," he said. "Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league. It's obvious that the Giants coaching staff's sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating."
The Giants then beat the 49ers, 26-3.
Tuck, meanwhile, made headlines in a similar way last season when he called out the Atlanta Falcons' offensive line prior to the teams' NFC wild-card playoff game.
"Most people, you would call them dirtbags," Tuck said then. "But it is what it is. We got to make sure we do our job."
When speaking with Giants beat reporters following practice Thursday, Tuck was complimentary of the Steelers and Roethlisberger overall.
"He is the reason why they are so successful in their offense," Tuck said. "That is not a knock on their running game. But when you think of Pittsburgh, first you got to think of him. He is, I think, the main reason why they are so successful on third down, is his ability to prolong plays and you got guys hanging off of him and he's still figuring it out. I would bet money that his completion percentage is higher when somebody is hanging off of him than when he is standing straight."