First published on Examiner
The New York Giants made numerous adjustments at halftime last Sunday. Defensive end Justin Tuck knows the team cannot afford to do the same every week.
“We went inside, made some corrections, and came back and played better in the second half,” Tuck explained on Thursday. “Again, we can’t afford to do that every week. Every week, we’re not going to be able to flip that switch like we were able to do on Sunday…we shouldn’t rely on speeches, whether it be at halftime, postgame, pre-game, it doesn’t matter whether it’s from leaders, the team, or the coach. We’re professional football players, and we should bring our A-game at the start of games regardless of the situation.”
Sunday is the first time the Giants will be facing a Washington Redskins offense that features Donovan McNabb at quarterback. Tuck and the New York defense aren’t expecting too much of a difference this weekend. “They still run bootlegs with him, he’s still dangerous with his legs,” Tuck stated. “He’s not running as much as he used to, but it’s there. We’re going to approach him the same way. The only thing different about him now is he’s in a different uniform. He’s still the same great player he was when he was in Philly. He’s going to know this defense and he knows us as a team. He has some success against us, and we have some success against him. It’s going to come down to who plays the best as a football team. We’re not going to make it a McNabb/individual type thing. We have to play well as a team.”
The Washington running game is ranked 26 in the NFL, averaging under 91 yards rushing per game. Those stats mean little to Tuck, who said “Their running game hasn’t been as successful as you’d think, but we just gave up 200 yards. Our run defense isn’t playing well either. This week should be a good week for us to kind of get back on track. Again, we have to prepare for anything.”
It’s no irony that Justin Tuck and Eli Manning, both locker room leaders, have talked about the Giants “bringing their A-game/playing their best” against the Redskins. Failing to play a whole 60 minutes against any NFL team is dangerous; just ask the 2010 Cincinnati Bengals. Hopefully, Tuck and Manning will have the Giants ready at opening kickoff this week.
All quotes via New York Giants Communications Office
For more: Manning talks Redskins, Coughlin talks RBs