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Justin Tuck tweets picture of his Super Bowl rings for Cowboys fans

Justin-Tuck-GiantsSometimes the New York Giants just can’t help themselves. It’s bad enough that several players ran their mouths before Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, guaranteeing victory and saying things like “there will be blood.” After losing and dropping to 4-7 on the season, you would think the Giants would know what it feels like to be humbled. Instead, Justin Tuck kept it going.

Tuck, who obviously knows very little about being gracious in defeat, responded to some Cowboys fans hating on him on Twitter by posting a photo of his two Super Bowl rings on Monday morning.

Should the Cowboys fans fire back by posting pictures of Dallas’ Super Bowl rings from the 1990s? No, because no one cares. The 2013 Cowboys are tied for first in the NFC East after beating New York on the road. The G-Men have eaten enough crow this week. Tuck should have known posting that would make him look like an idiot.

[Related: Orlando Scandrick, Jason Hatcher rip Cowboys for talking trash]

Justin Tuck: If anyone turns on Tom Coughlin, I’ll punch them in the mouth

Justin-Tuck-Cowboys-Not-Americas-TeamThe Tom Coughlin hot seat talk has arrived a bit earlier than usual for the New York Giants this season. Coughlin has led the team to two Super Bowl championships since 2008, but he can’t seem to avoid folks calling for his job on an annual basis. Now that the Giants are off to an 0-4 start, the questions are already rolling in.

After Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, wide receiver Victor Cruz questioned Coughlin’s decision to not go for it on 4th-and-1 in Giants’ territory in the third quarter. Cruz caught a pass that was initially ruled a first down, but Andy Reid challenged the spot and won. New York was only trailing by three at the time, so punting seemed like a no-brainer. Not to Cruz.

“I thought we should have gone for it on that fourth down,” Cruz said, via the NY Daily News. “It’s coach’s call at the end of the day.”

Cruz was then reminded that his team was only down three and the ball was at New York’s 30-yard line.

“If it was me? Yes (I would have gone for it). Because we had the momentum,” he added. “I felt it was a yard, not even a yard, half a yard, we’ve got to take a risk at some point and make something happen.”

“I don’t know. It was Coach’s decision. I’m not getting in Coach’s head. It was Coach’s decision to do what he has to do. He’s the head honcho. He makes the call and I just go out there and abide by his rules.”

Justin Tuck strongly disagreed with Cruz. The veteran defensive lineman said anyone who thinks the team should have gone for it is an “idiot.” He also warned against any players who are planning to turn against the head coach after a rough start to the season.

“If anyone turns on our coach, I would be the first one to punch him in the mouth,” Tuck said. “And put that in print. It better not happen, I know that.”

Coughlin has made a career of getting his teams to continue fighting and making improbable runs come playoff time. It may already be too late for that this year. The last thing the Giants need right now is a locker room rift.

Justin Tuck: I have nightmares about Robert Griffin III

The New York Giants had a ton of trouble with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III when they faced him over a month ago, and they will have to step up to the challenge again on Monday night. It doesn’t sound like Justin Tuck is looking forward to it very much.

“Until I exit stage right, it seems like (Griffin is) going to be a fixture in my dreams and nightmares,” Tuck told reporters earlier this week.

The Giants defensive lineman said he watched RG3 lead the Redskins to victory in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Tuck hoped that by some miracle he would see a slower Griffin than the one New York barely defeated five weeks ago, but we all know that didn’t happen.

“I was hoping to learn that he would slow down a little bit, but that’s not the case,” he said. “He is one of the best dual threats in our game today, and we’re gonna have our hands full trying to stop that guy.”

One thing’s for certain: Griffin has earned the respect of the defending Super Bowl champions. At the start of the season, Osi Umenyiora wouldn’t even give RG3 the courtesy of calling him by his nickname. Less than halfway through the season and Osi was already willing to crown Griffin the best quarterback the Giants have faced all season. In his first season on the big stage, RG3 has quickly earned the right to not be treated like a rookie.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck: Steelers offensive line has ‘gotten away with murder’

One of the best ways for the New York Giants to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend would be to put some pressure on Ben Roethlisberger — something very few teams have had success doing this season. Roethlisberger has been sacked only 13 times through the first seven games, which is one of the reasons he has completely nearly 67% of his passes and has an impressive QB rating of 101.4.

According to Justin Tuck, the reason Pittsburgh’s offensive line has protected Roethlisberger so well is that the unit gets away with holding.

“I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder,” Tuck told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “They’ve done a very good job protecting Ben — they don’t hold on every play. But we’ve seen a whole lot of it.”

The Steelers have only been called for holding five times this season, which means some of their seven starting lineman have yet to commit a holding penalty. That’s a pretty impressive statistic.

Tuck is obviously trying to work the refs over in an attempt to help the Giants’ front seven break the trend of Roethlisberger keeping his jersey clean. Holding happens on nearly every play in the NFL, so I doubt Pittsburgh is doing anything more than other teams do. Could they be getting away with it more? Tuck is hoping the refs think they have.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Giants players rip DeAngelo Hall for not giving Eli Manning credit on game-winner

When Eli Manning connected with Victor Cruz for a 77-yard touchdown that gave the New York Giants and comeback win over the Washington Redskins, DeAngelo Hall was not impressed. Rather than seeing it as another tremendous fourth-quarter comeback from a resilient Giants team, Hall saw it as a gift from his team.

“Ultimately he did because he made the play to beat us, but I don’t feel like he made that play,” Hall told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. “I feel we gave him that play. We just had one guy set his feet and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.”

You don’t have to look at the play all that closely to know that it was terrible coverage, so in a way you can see what Hall is referring to. That being said, the Giants and Manning still had to call the right play based on the defense they saw and then execute it. That’s why some New York players feel that Hall’s comments were disrespectful.

“DeAngelo Hall is not that smart,” Justin tuck said according to Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News.

USA TODAY’s Mike Garafolo said Victor Cruz called Hall’s comments “a little disrespectful” and Manning even stepped out of character a bit and fired back at the Redskins corner.

“I didn’t think it took a rocket scientist to figure it out either,” Manning said. “That was the coverage they messed up. As an offense, you have to take advantage of that.”

The “we beat ourselves” excuse is one of the lamest in sports, and one that the Giants have heard before on numerous occasions. Hall is also known for having a big mouth, so it doesn’t surprise me that he tried to take credit away from his division rivals. All that matters is the Giants got one in the win column and Washington took a loss. Whether Hall feels they earned it or not really isn’t relevant.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck on Bucs kneel-down antics: ‘I thought it was a classless play’

If Greg Schiano sticks to his guns and does not change his approach in kneel-down situations at the end of games, he’s going to make a lot of enemies across the NFL. Whether playing hard until the final whistle is right or wrong (we gave our opinion here), Tom Coughlin and the Giants didn’t appreciate it. Justin Tuck reiterated that on Tuesday.

“I’m trying to be political, but I’m just going to go out and say it: I thought it was a classless play,” Tuck said according to the NY Post. “I thought it had no place in the NFL, and that’s how you get guys hurt. I’ve been in the league for eight years, that’s the first time that I’ve ever seen that.

“There are guys who have been in the league a lot longer than I have, and that’s the first time they’ve seen it. So, if that’s how he wants to play it, he can do that to them, and everybody else. It’s not going to be an issue, until somebody blows their knee out. Or gets some prime guy hurt on national TV.”

Tuck went on to add that he’s not saying the play is illegal but simply that he doesn’t agree with it. The thing I don’t understand is all the talk about how somebody is going to get hurt. If the offensive line blocks like they would on any other play when the defense is coming after them, they have no more chance of getting hurt on that play than any other throughout the course of the game. I realize the issue has to do with the defense diving at the offense’s knees, but as we mentioned before Rutgers forced four fumbles using the approach under Schiano. At least now opponents will know to expect it.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck defends Prince Amukamara being throw into cold tub

The Giants don’t seem to be apologetic about hazing Prince Amukamara, they’re just sorry that their private locker room behavior became public.

“None of us condone bullying,” defensive end Justin Tuck told the media on Monday. “We just have to do a better job of being conscious of how that looks and how people can perceive it.”

Tuck then defended the hazing, suggesting it was done out of love.

“We’re a family. Everyone loves everyone. We love Prince. It’s part of the rituals and traditions of a football team in the locker room,” Tuck said. “I would love to say it was really not that big of a deal, but there’s some people that don’t understand what goes on on a football team. We’re definitely sensitive to that and understand other peoples’ concerns about it.

“If anything, it shows just how tight of a group we are. It’s just part of doing your dues. We’ve all been through it — I’ve been dunked in the cold tub when I was a rookie. It’s just unfortunate that it’s looked upon as it happened.”

Once again, Tuck isn’t apologizing for the Giants hazing each other, he’s just sorry others are seeing it.

“No one really understands the culture in this locker room and in locker rooms around the country unless you’ve been in one. I can see how people outside of this locker room can take it in a negative light, and it’s for good reason. I definitely see both sides of it and wish that everyone will know we’re going to do our part to make sure nothing like this happens again.”

I played athletics throughout high school and understand that this type of hazing is prevalent. I never really understood how tossing a younger player into the cold tub or shower made the team better or more tight-knit, so I never participated in that sort of thing and tried discouraging it. But some players really got off on showing their dominance over others, and they loved doing it. That’s the type of culture to which Tuck is referring.

I’m not a fan of hazing, I don’t really understand the point of it, and that’s not my deal. But it’s hard for outsiders to really say anything to a professional football team about the way they should behave in their locker room. As long as there isn’t any ookie cookie nonsense going on, there probably isn’t too much to fuss over.