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Justin Tuck hits the right notes with rookies on d-line

Justin Tuck of the New York Giants prepares

Justin Tuck of the New York Giants prepares to play against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 25, 2012. Credit: Jim McIsaac

One of the things that rookie defensive linemen Damontre Moore and Johnathan Hankins were so impressed by when they arrived for rookie minicamp last week was the notes that were left in their locker from Justin Tuck telling them that they should get ready to work.

Today, Tuck said he had never did anything like that before and while he did not intend for his message to go public he was happy to hear that it made such an impact.

“Just from conversations I’ve had with our team and guys around it, I felt they needed to know that this year has to be our best year,” Tuck said today at the BTIG Commissions for Charity Day. “I don’t want to call them our weakest link, but they’re the new guys, they don’t know our system, they don’t know how we get down, so right now they are our weakest link and you’re only as strong as your weakest link. I just want those guys to come in with the attitude knowing that this year is all about working. It’s not about what we’ve done, it’s not about what we haven’t done. It’s about a brand new year and instilling in them early that this team is going to work our ass off to get back to where we feel like we should be. And that’s a consistent football team that makes the playoffs and wins their last game.”

So there.

Of course, Tuck may be talking as much about himself and the veterans as he is about the rookies. After all, Tuck still has no idea what they will bring to the team.

“They didn’t do nothing,” he said. “I’m impressed when we put pads on. That’s when you can tell what guys can do. Anybody can be an All-America in shorts and a … we’re not even in a helmet. Just trying to figure out what kind of personalities they have. I told all the defensive linemen to have thick skin because in our room you have to have that. They said we understand it. That was the first impression, but it’s too early to say anything about them.”

One player Tuck knows a little about is new linebacker Aaron Curry, who signed with the Giants over the weekend.

“The only thing I know about him is what he did in college,” Tuck said of Curry. “The NFL hasn’t been as kind to him as I’m sure he would like it to be, but sometimes you need a fresh start and hopefully this will be a match made in heaven for him. He can play the game. He wouldn’t have been the fourth overall pick if he couldn’t play the game. I know health has been an issue for him …I think Aaron has just a good of a chance of making a huge impact on this football team as any of us.”

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