Defensive players are supposed to be disruptive forces on the field. Justin Tuck is hoping that when he returns – and it looks like that will happen on Sunday against the Dolphins – he won’t be a disruption to his own team.
“I’m just going to try to stay out of the way,” the defensive captain who has sat out the last three games and missed four of the first six, said on Tuesday. “I say that seriously because we’ve had a lot of success, especially rushing the passer. The last thing I want to do is come back in and they think they have to throw me in these situations because I need to make plays or whatever. The unselfish part of me is saying that I just want to be on the football field to help us win football games in whatever capacity that is. I don’t want to throw a monkey wrench in the whole process.”
Tuck was speaking at P.S. 19 in Manhattan at a MetLife event at which he read “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” to second graders and spoke about healthy snacks for Halloween. MetLife gave $1.1 million to two organizations focused on children and oral health care.
Tuck’s teeth are fine, it’s his neck and groin that have been giving him troubles. He said he’s feeling better and remains hopeful about playing on Sunday. He expects to practice on Wednesday, which is a good sign, and barring any setbacks he should be playing against the Dolphins.
Tuck just doesn’t want defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to go crazy because he’ll have Tuck and possibly cornerback Prince Amukamara at his disposal.
“It’s going to be tremendously helpful, but it can also be a hindrance if we don’t perform,” Tuck said of giving the defense a facelift at the midway point and being bale to do things against second-half opponents that have yet to show up on any game tape. “The things we’ve done thus far, it’s been through the fire. We know what works and what doesn’t work. Guys coming back, I think you have to hopefully no try to reinvent the wheel. You think ‘I can do this now, I can do that,’ well, we haven’t seen how that’s going to work against those offenses. We know now what we have success with and we know what we haven’t had success with coming out of this bye. Going into it we just have to build on it, not get carried away and think that just because Justin’s back or we have Prince back or whatever it is, we can reinvent the wheel. We have to be consistent in what we do, but with enough flexibility that offenses don’t pick up on us.”