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Tuck: 2012 defense will be better than 2011's

New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck photographed

New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck photographed on the red carpet outside of Slate NYC before the start of the 4th annual Tuck's Celebrity Billiards which raises funds for Tuck's R.U.S.H. for literacy. (May 31, 2012) Credit: Steven Sunshine

Will the Giants’ defense be better in 2012 than it was in 2011?

“We’d better be,” Justin Tuck said. “We should be. I think it will be. But like I said, we have to go out there and work. We have a lot of guys returning and hopefully we can play like we did in the playoffs and not like we did in the regular season.”

The defense may have paved the way for the Super Bowl run in the playoffs, but in the regular season it was sometimes a detriment. The defense finished the regular season ranked 27th in overall defense and 25th in points allowed.

Perry Fewell wouldn’t try to predict how good the defense will be in 2012.

“Those guys will decide how good we can be,” he said. “I found this out about our New York Giant football players, that if they take a stand and they’re mentally into it and – I’ll use the term – if they’re ‘all in,’ we can be whatever we want to be. I’m not going to come out and say we can be this or we can be that. I’m going to leave that up to the players because the self-motivation to be champions again will determine where we go.”

Tuck said he thinks the confidence that marked the end of the 2011 season will continue into 2012 as well.

“We’re a very confident bunch, we believe in ourselves, and we know when we go out and play football the way we’re supposed to play it that we can play with any team,” he said. “I know a lot of people made headlines about out schedule but we look forward to that. We do. We know that to be the best you have to beat the best and to beat the best you have to be on your Ps and Qs. For us we look at it as pressure, not busting pipes, but making us excel.”

Tom Coughlin has confidence in the 2012 Giants, too. “You’re talking about the World Champions,” he said. But he also sees room for improvement.

“I like the way that our team responded and finished,” he said of the end of the year run. “I have every confidence that they will come back just as inspired to want to play at their very best. The big key for our team is the bridging over of all of those values and virtues and principles that we carried forward from 7-7 on … If we play with harmony with all three phases like we are capable of and we carry these things over and we encourage these young guys to be a part of it and we improve – there are multiple, multiple areas that we can improve in. If we can make considerable improvement in those areas, we will be representative.”

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