Keith Bulluck hasn’t played a team snap with the Giants so far in this camp, but the players are already leaning on him for advice and leadership. Just ask Justin Tuck, who likes the idea of having such a wily veteran standing up behind him at middle linebacker.
It reminds him of the last guy to play that position on a regular basis.
“I will always say that AP put me in position to make so many plays in my career,” Tuck said of Antonio Pierce. “I would say I owe 50 percent of my plays to AP. Keith can do the same thing. There’s just something about being back there and seeing the offense and knowing what’s coming and being able to get guys out of calls and into calls that helps this football team out. No knock on Goff or Kehl or any of those other guys because they stepped in and played an admirable role when AP went down, but that’s where it lacks is that leadership and experience and knowing how the game is going to go and how the offense is going to combat what we’re doing.”
Bulluck may be second on the depth chart, but from the way Tuck was talking it's almost as if he -- and the rest of us -- are simply waiting for Bulluck to win over the starting job. It seems to be inevitable.
Defensive linemen rely on linebackers to be there eyes.
“We can know everything there is about the offense but with our hand in the dirt we can’t see motion, we can’t see quarterback movement when he’s in a shotgun,” Tuck said. “Most times we’re keyed into the football trying to get off the line, so those guys on the back end being able to look at the whole picture and decipher that and get the information to us, that’s huge.”
But there has to be trust. And maybe that’s what Bulluck brings the most is a track record of making the right calls. Not all of the time, but consistently enough to earn trust.
“Even when AP would give me something and it would be the complete opposite play, the next time he said something I was still going with him because there were so many times before that he put me in the right position and I made a big play to help this football team,” Tuck said.