ORLANDO, Fla. -- Justin Tuck may always be a Giant in the minds of fans, coaches, owners, and perhaps even in his own inner thoughts. But he's a Raider now, and his new head coach doesn't think any emotional attachments Tuck has for his former team will get in the way of performing for his new one.
"Justin loves football and I think football is football and it really doesn't matter what building you're in when you're doing that, you don't lose your passion for the game," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning at the NFL's annual meetings. "Listen, all of us in the National Football League at some point spent a lot of time in other places. I spent four years in Atlanta, five years in New Orleans, and I still have a lot of good friends back in those places and a lot of respect for those programs, but you move on. My loyalty lies with the Oakland Raiders right now as well as Justin Tuck's loyalty will lie with the Oakland Raiders."
As you might expect, the Raiders didn't just sign Tuck to play football.
"We really looked for veteran players who had leadership qualities that were part of winning programs," Allen said of the Raiders' free agency philosophy. "That was something we wanted to bring into the building. And guys who could still play the game. We weren't looking for mascots or hood ornaments, we were looking for guys who could come in and still play the game and yet they had these same qualities of leadership and understanding what it takes to be a championship football team. Justin Tuck along with several of the other guys we were able to sign fit those qualities."