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Oakland Raiders Seek Veteran Presence with Signing of Justin Tuck

March 25th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Billy Javed

Mike Morbeck / Foter / CC BY-SA
When New York Giants fans heard the news that the two-time Super Bowl champion and defensive leader of nine years, Justin Tuck, had opted to join the Oakland Raiders, most were saddened by the departure of a great player, teammate, leader and community icon. Even co-owner John Mara publicly discussed how the loss affected him as he stated that it was “very tough for me personally.”

Ultimately, the NFL is a business and each team has a calculated plan to enhance their chances at hoisting a Lombardy trophy. And it now appears as though one team’s aging veteran is another’s new defensive leader.

The Raiders are entering their third season under young head coach Dennis Allen, following two straight 4-12 seasons. The Raiders seem to consistently be a young team with poor leadership, rendering them ineffective and inconsistent for quite a few years now. Their approach to this offseason indicates they may be looking to add some veteran leadership to their young nucleus. The team has added numerous players over the age of 30 with signings such as Lamarr Woodley, Donald Penn, Charles Woodson, Antonio Smith, Matt Schaub and former Giants Kevin Booth and Justin Tuck.

Out of all the names mentioned above, Justin Tuck’s voice may reign the loudest in the locker-room as he has two super bowl rings to back anything he states. He was also one of the Raiders first major signings, signifying his importance to the Raiders coaching staff and ownership. Tuck recently joined in on a conference call with Levi Damien of Silver and Black Pride to discuss what he hopes to bring to Oakland both on and off the field.

“I think the assets that I bring to this team off the field are gonna be tremendous,” said Tuck. “Also, as far as leadership and just how I interact with the community and become integrated with Raider Nation and that's something that I'm looking forward to doing.”

Tuck filled the leadership role in Oakland almost immediately as he indicated in his reply when asked if he tried to recruit Woodley and Hatcher to join the Raiders.

"Absolutely. I already put my words in with both those guys and obviously they have decisions to make and hopefully we can get guys like that, guys that are used to winning and know what it takes to win and play good football will obviously help us rebuild this thing. So, yes I will be a recruiter."

That being said, the Raiders are not looking solely for leadership and recruiters. They need players that can perform on the pitch and they believe Tuck still has much to offer in that department as well. Dennis Allen made that quite clear Sunday as he was quoted as saying, “We’re not bringing in mascots or hood ornaments or whatever,” at the NFL owners meetings. “A lot of people ask me about veteran leadership. Let’s not confuse things here. I want guys that can play. We’re not bringing in guys just for leadership. We went out and got guys to can still be productive and also fill a leadership role.”

Tuck was certainly productive for the Giants last season, especially against the run, but was a shell of his former self in the pass rush department. He would occasionally get into the pocket but rarely finished the job unless he was playing the Washington Redskins. Look for Tuck to prove the Giants wrong in 2014, but also look for Jerry Reese to prove his decision was the right one as free agency comes to a close and the draft nears.

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Tags: Charles Woodson, Football, Jerry Reese, John Mara, Justin Tuck, Matt Schaub, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Washington, Washington Redskins

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30 Responses to “Oakland Raiders Seek Veteran Presence with Signing of Justin Tuck”

  1.  Krow says:

    Good luck for Tuck … hope he enjoys his $11,000,000 gold watch.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    He’ll be good for Oakland. The city more than the team, but the team too. A team that is trying to rebuild does need some veterans around who are winners, and Justin Tuck and Charles Woodson will bring that to the Raiders. Both may be no longer much better than “just-below-average” as far as quality of play, but both are “way-above-average” quality in the locker room.

    Good luck to Tuck. Whatever anyone may think of him now, his play was instrumental in getting two rings so he should always be welcomed back as a true Blue member of the Giants.

    •  Dirt says:

      Are you suggesting Oakland is in need of a good philosopher?

      I kid. Key cog in two (2) championships. No hate from me. Even if he went out like a complete aszhole.

  3.  Begiant says:

    Heh. I have been waiting for this one. Tuck is huge in the community and a well known presence. However, I don’t think he is a true leader. I will always appreciate him giving the speech before the superbowl and the speech that broke down Barry Cofield against the Jags. However, I don’t think he is a true leader in the way that Rolle or Beason is. Tuck is one of those guys who is a great locker room presence, but I wouldn’t count on him being a team leader in the way you need a player to be.

  4.  jfunk says:

    From the side bar:

    David Hamilton @DavidHamiltonTV
    Ebron jokes with #Giants scout that he’s in the groove now. “Don’t turn your back now. Don’t want to miss this”…then drops 3rd pass of day

    ===========================================

    lol.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Oh wow. Jim, picking a fight over the state of the union and the state of humankind? Rather than get into a political discussion I’ll just say that your political opinion and reading of history is as weak as your opinions about the Giants. Doesn’t make you a bad person. Just someone about whose judgments a certain degree of skepticism should be carefully maintained.

  6.  G-MenFan says:

    At first I though you were just a “negative Nancy” with your posts.

    Now I realize you’re a complete moron, devoid of any real worldly knowledge including common social protocols.

    Thanks for this post. Now I realize you have nothing to offer and I can just skip over all future excrement disguised as “comment”.

  7.  William says:

    Actually, I agree its all Roger Goodell’s fault for pushing the draft back so far.

  8.  jfunk says:

    For the love of Wellington, can you a-holes please leave this sht alone tomorrow morning? Why bring this here?

    There are plenty of hyper intelligent types over on the Fox and CNN comments sections that would love to have this conversation.

  9.  Nosh.0 says:

    Time to burn some calories. NFL draft rant part one. The stupidity of taking a TE in the first round.

    I assume that since Kellen Winslow put together a HOF career with the Chargers, people have been talking about how the super athletic, pass catching TE will change the NFL. I don’t go that far back but I’ve been hearing that phrase muttered since Shanon Sharpe, then again with Shockey, and every few years since then. Unfortunately it’s a statement that has little fact behind it. The NFL has only recently changed when they stopped letting DB’s touch WR’s and now, no longer allow them to lay WR’s out over the middle. Add those 2 rule changes to the deep shotguns more and more teams are employing and we now have a pass happy league. The athletic TE really didn’t have much to do with it.

    Great TE’s like Witten and Tony G will always be worthy of a large investment, but not league average ones. The average fans logic seems to be this. Get super freak TE. Create matchup nightmare for defenses. Have unstoppable offense. Win Super Bowl. But that’s not the case at all. Here’s a list of the last 5 SB winners TE’s.

    - Zack Miller Seahawks
    - Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson Ravens
    - Jake Ballard, Bear Pascoe Giants
    - Tom Crabtree, Andrew Quarless Packers
    - David Thomas Saints

    A great TE is simply not a necessity. In fact it’s nothing more than a luxury. And in a league with a salary cap where every team inevitably has holes, you’d much rather be weak at a position like TE than along the D or O lines.

    Add that to the fact that the Giants have not invested highly in a TE since Shockey (I don’t care if we have a new OC, the team will not change positional values just for McAdoo) and the fact is that there is no way in h-e-l/L that we are drafting a TE in the first round. We saw Julius Thomas break out his 3rd year, we have no reason to believe Adrian Robinson can’t do the same. A TE that high would simply be a foolish pick, not only by us, but by any organization. There’s a reason the TE position is one of the lowest paid salaries throughout the league. Because it’s not that valuable.

    •  jfunk says:

      In general, I agree. I don’t want nor do I expect the Giants to take a (the) TE at 12.

      However, it wouldn’t shock me. I can understand the decision if they feel he’s the best receiver on the board and that he can improve his blocking enough to help the offensive line right away too.

      They’ll never pay him to stay if he turns out to be a top TE because its not worth the money. Bit if they think he improves the team more over the next four years of his rookie contract than the other players there then I could understand pulling the trigger. Our window is closing soon, what these guys offer now is more important than what they may offer in years 6-10 of their careers.

      That being said, while Ebron looks like a very fine TE, my YouTube watching didn’t leave my jaw on the floor. I’m not as convinced as some that he’s really a game changer. I try not to evaluate draftees too much because I literally see nothing of college football but highlights of guys on the Giants radar pre draft, but I’m not in awe when I watch him and I think if you take a TE at 12 he should be awesome.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I agree with both of you. I don’t think drafting a first round TE is a good move but I would be surprised if that’s the way we went. I also think while Ebron is a very good TE prospect I don’t think he’s the game changer some think he is. I have also made the Thomas comparisons and believe that him breaking out is a lot more likely than the general belief. People seem to forget he was raw when drafted so taking 2 years to develop makes a lot of sense. I get we can count on Robinson developing so we could draft another option be the TE is in far better position than going into 2011 IMO.

        •  Nosh.0 says:

          Well as I just mentioned, I think taking any TE in the first round is a bad move. But if you wanted to talk me into one, it would have to be an athlete like Vernon Davis, 4.4. type guy. Ebron while good, is definitely not on the level of Davis. And I’m with you guys, I watched his highlights, kid doesn’t jump off the screen at you.

          •  GOAT56 says:

            Or a Graham type of frame at Ebron’s speed. What’s ironic is Robinson is a better athlete than Ebron.

            •  Nosh.0 says:

              It would never happen, but, I actually like the idea of Mike Evans bulking up a bit and making him a Jimmy Graham like TE. Not saying I would do that, but that intrigues me a lot more than Eric Ebron.

              I imagine the love for him is solely based on the fact that he’s the highest rated TE this year. If it was Tyler Eifert instead of Ebron, I think people would be screaming we should take Eifert at #12. Fans just seem to get overly excited about the idea of a fast pass catching TE. Which is not a bad thing. Just spending a 1st round pick on one is.

  10.  Nosh.0 says:

    NFL Draft rant part two. OL or DL is the pick at #12.

    Lets get some facts out of the way.
    - Eli Manning was terrible last season.
    - G101ers made excuses for Manning that he was bad because his OL was atrocious.
    - The Giants will go as far as Eli Manning takes them.
    - J.D. Walton is coming off a horrendous ankle injury and hasn’t played a snap in almost 2 years.
    - Chris Snee is coming off missing an entire season due to injury. He is 32 years old.
    - Will Beatty had one of the worst seasons ever by a Left Tackle. He is recovering from a broken leg.

    Franchise tackles get drafted early. You don’t get them at the end of the first round. Remember all those idiots on here complaining that you can’t have long term success when you constantly pick at the back end of the draft? Well they still don’t know what they’re talking about, but in the case of a few positions, their argument has some merit. Franchise LT’s simply don’t get out of the top 15.

    Taylor Lewan is a franchise Tackle. 6’7 or 6’8, and athletic. He can come in right away and be a top 10 RT and move to LT once we can release Beatty. Finding studs at valuable positions is one of the benefits to drafting high. Lewan will 100% be the pick if he’s available.

    •  jfunk says:

      I really wish the guy was less of a dirt bag so I could be on board with this. I hope somebody drafts him earlier so I don’t have to worry about it. I think his latest press clippings only serve to increase the odds the Giants are forced to make thatvdecision though. There was some talk he could be the 2nd OT taken before, I seriously doubt that now.

      •  Nosh.0 says:

        I think his combine has put him ahead of Jake Mathews on a purely physical standpoint. Character may keep Mathews above him though.

        •  Begiant says:

          I listened to one of Lewan’s interviews and I thought he sounded genuine. I am not sure what really happened with the rape threat allegation, but he was only 18 when it happened. His friend hooked up with the girl in the upstairs of a frat party and may or may not have raped her. Lewan threatened to rape her IN FRONT OF IS TEAMMATES AND NOT HER. Because he believed that his friend did not rape the girl and if she pressed charges that would ruin his best friends life. So he said well if she does that then I’ll rape her so she at least won’t be lying (What I think he meant.)

          I personally don’t think this is a red flag. Is it stupid..yes it is. But everyone does stupid things when they are 18. This was worse than most, but I think he was just protective of his teammate…which is not necesarily a bad quality.

          •  Begiant says:

            I also don’t think he in anyway actually meant he was going to rape her…I completely believe he just said it out of anger and frustration.

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