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Missing OTAs is NBD, Tuck says, as long as you call ahead ... and Hakeem Nicks hasn't

Justin Tuck walks off the field following OTAs

Justin Tuck walks off the field following OTAs at Timex Performance Center. (May 22, 2013) Credit: Mike Stobe

It doesn't bother Justin Tuck that Hakeem Nicks is not at the team's OTAs. But he said that it is "kind of worrying" that Nicks has apparently not communicated with the Giants about his absence.

“That’s kind of worrying that you don’t communicate,” Tuck said. “Hakeem, he’s young. He may not understand the importance of that part of it. But I’m not worried about him being ready for the season. I know Hakeem, wherever he is, he loves to work out and he’s doing what he needs to be doing to be ready for the year … All of us would love for everybody to be there, but this ain’t a perfect world and perfect things don’t happen all the time.”

Like Nicks, Tuck was not at Thursday’s OTA. Unlike Nicks, Tuck let the Giants know he wouldn’t be there. Instead he spent the day working and preparing for his annual celebrity billiards tournament in Manhattan which this year raised money for victims of Superstorm Sandy as well as Tuck’s RUSH for Literacy program. It was the fifth annual billiards tournament and over the years it has raised over $1.5 million.

“I definitely let the head coach, strength coach, position coach, I definitely let them know,” Tuck said of skipping the day’s workout. “That’s the respect of it. I think all of us want to be in OTAs, all of us love playing the game and want to be with our friends and our teammates and getting better. Sometimes you have other things you need to take care of and unfortunately this is the only time in our busy schedule that we might have the opportunity to do something.”

Tuck said that even though Tom Coughlin may have a different definition of the word “voluntary” when it pertains to voluntary workouts, he’s generally understanding about players – especially veterans – missing one now and then.

“At the end of the day just let us know and I’m sure coach understands it,” Tuck said. “He might not show you that he understands it, but he’s been around the game a long time and he understands the business side of it as well. He wouldn’t lead on and say that he understands it, he’ll probably still make you feel guilty about missing it, but I’m sure he understands as long as you explain it to him and it doesn’t catch him by surprise.”

Nicks’ absence apparently did.

“At one point Hakeem told me he was going to be here and then he was not here,” Coughlin said earlier in the day.

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Tuck’s wife, Lauran, is expecting their second child in mid June. That leaves open the possibility of Tuck missing a portion of the mandatory veteran’s minicamp to be held June 11-13.

“I want to be there,” Tuck said. “The only way I’m not going to be in minicamp is if my wife has the baby on that day. I fully expect to be in minicamp.”

Eli Manning and his wife are expecting a child in the next month or so too. Imagine if both gave birth at the same time and neither Manning nor Tuck were at one day of the minicamp?

“The Giants would cease to exist,” Tuck chuckled.
 

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