Tuck on rings: Let's get some more!
Giants' defensive captain dares to say 'dynasty' as Big Blue takes in Tiffany
NEW YORK -- Justin Tuck had one Super Bowl ring on each hand and a Vince Lombardi trophy on his arm.
And the New York Giants' defensive captain wants even more hardware.
Not long after receiving his second Super Bowl ring with his Giants teammates at Tiffany & Co., Tuck said Big Blue wants to add to its jewelry box.
"Our thing now is we want to be a dynasty," Tuck said on Wednesday night. "We want to make it a dynasty."[+] EnlargeWilliam Perlman/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireJustin Tuck already has two Super Bowl rings. Now he wants a few more.
As Tuck and Eli Manning were going through their second championship ring ceremony at Tiffany in four years, the defensive end told owner John Mara and Manning what his new goal is as they were receiving their blue boxes.
"Justin said to Mr. Mara that no Giants player has three championships with the Giants," Manning said.
Repeating will be even more difficult than winning it all was last season. The Giants are faced with the league's toughest schedule, with their final 11 games coming against either divisional rivals or 2011 playoff participants. They will play all three of their NFC playoff opponents (Falcons, Packers and 49ers) from this past Super Bowl run, and the NFC East only got better with offseason moves.
But the NFL will have to deal with the Giants as well. While they lost Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs and other key contributors, the Giants' core from the title team is still intact. And several key players on the team not only now have the experience of what it takes to win a championship, but the type of confidence that comes only with winning a ring.
Safety Antrel Rolle said just having a ring and being a part of that exclusive club will make him a better player and leader this coming season.
"I think it definitely can," Rolle said. "With us, and personally myself, having this feeling right now, it can definitely make me push the edge and the envelope a little bit and try to get everyone on the same page at an earlier point in time and not have such a roller-coaster season."
As is always the case for the Giants, health will be a major factor for the defending world champions. But if they can stay healthy, they'll have several young stars, such as defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, who now know what it takes to win a championship.
Wednesday night also reminded the Giants of just how close they came to falling short. The Giants reminisced about all the ups and downs of last season, how a loss to the Jets or Cowboys would have kept them from making the playoffs and how they banded together at the right time to win their final six games.
But the ring also served as a reminder of what is possible for the Giants -- and this ring ceremony can help set the tone for 2012. "I think it will," Tuck said. "I remember last time we did this, it definitely gave us more motivation to stay on top of the hill and hopefully we can."
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While guys, including Rolle and Cruz, cherished their first ring and stared at it all night, Tuck was comparing his new ring to his old one.
"I think the second ring makes you that much more hungrier," Tuck said. "Because you get there the first time, you are in awe. You are like, 'Oh God, this might not ever happen again.' And then you win a second one and you are like, 'Hey, maybe we can do something here.'"
Tuck, along with fellow captains Manning and Zak DeOssie, had a say in the design of the ring. Tuck had some interesting ideas, such as designing each individual ring with a mural of the player's face.
"When we were in the designing process, [Michael Strahan] said get the biggest and baddest one you can get," Tuck said. "So that is why I came up with the ostentatious designs that I knew would get knocked down."
Tuck is hoping that he will get to present some of those gaudy design ideas again next February. If that's the case, Tuck might want to come up with a dynasty-themed design.
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