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New York Giants’ Justin Tuck Vows to Return to All-Pro Level in 2013

January 23rd, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is not happy with himself. As he continues to breakdown game film from the 2012 season, he sees a player he doesn't recognize; a player he doesn't want to be. And while attending a Garden of Dreams charity event at MSG on Tuesday night, the veteran lineman vowed to be better in 2013.

'Justin Tuck: Calm Before the Storm.' photo (c) 2009, Heath Brandon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

“That’s what it’s going to be for me, getting back to the Pro Bowl, All-Pro type status that I’m accustomed to playing at,” Tuck said. “I’ve been watching film of myself the last couple weeks and it’s just frustrating to see that I haven’t played to that standard and that’s going to be a definite focus for me.”

Tuck played poorly across the board in 2012, and faded down the stretch. Not only was he failing to reach the quarterback, but also began to suffer against the run. He finished the season with only four sacks – his lowest total since 2006 – and had little impact elsewhere, failing to force or recover a single fumble.

For the second year in a row, Tuck also struggled with injuries – most notably, a lingering shoulder issue that's become a reoccurring problem since being tripped by Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Flozell Adams in 2009.

“[Staying healthy] is going to be a huge focus for me to make sure I do my due diligence this offseason, training and eating the right things to make sure that next year is a normal Justin Tuck year compared to last year,” Tuck added.

With Osi Umenyiora almost certainly leaving via free agency, Big Blue will need Tuck to return to normal in 2013. If he can't, teams will continue to double and triple-team Jason Pierre-Paul, rendering the Giants' once fearsome pass rush almost obsolete.

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Tags: Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora