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1.12 DE Justin Tuck

Do you think Plaxico Burress would be welcomed back into the locker room?

Yeah, I think so.  I think I said when the incident happened that it is not for us to judge a circumstance when a guy made a mistake.  To answer your question, yes, I think we would.

How different does this feel compared to last year when your team peaked at the right time?

Obviously you would like to come into this time of year playing your best ball and obviously we didn't do that for whatever reason.  It hurt us yesterday.  I guess that number one seed and 12-4 is kind of all for naught.  It is a good year, we did a lot of good things, but obviously we would love to be playing on Sunday.

How hard was it to walk in today knowing that you have beaten all four of the remaining teams this season?

It is tough, but you have to earn that right and we didn't earn that right yesterday.  Philadelphia came in here and they played a great game, they beat us, and they earned the right to go on and play Arizona.  Obviously we feel as though if we play our game no one can beat us and I am sure every other team feels that way, too, but it is kind of disheartening to know the talent that we have on this football team and all the good things we did this year to come up short like we did.

Do you feel the pass rush wore down down the stretch?

I think so, but I think a lot of people did a lot of adjusting to the things we wanted to do.  I think we did.  We had 30 sacks in eight games and after that point we kind of never got back into a rhythm of getting after quarterbacks like we have been known to do.  Whatever reason it was we just didn't get the job done later on in the season.

Now that it is over can you tell us how banged-up you were?

How banged-up am I?  Pretty banged-up, but it is football and you are going to be banged-up.  If you are going into this game and you are all smiles and nothing is hurting, obviously you are not doing too much.  For me personally, having an opportunity to go out on that football field whether it was a full 100 percent or 60 percent, I am going to do that and everybody else on this football team is going to do that too.  It really doesn't matter now as far as how I feel and things of that nature.  I feel well enough to be playing on Sunday and I wish I had that opportunity.

Three of four teams that had the bye lost. Did it play a part?

I don't know.  There have been other teams that had weeks off and won their game.  Me personally, I like to get in a rhythm and I think the week off has the ability to make you rusty if you allow it to, but I think that week off benefited us more than it hurt us because we had some guys that needed that week to get healthy.  It gave us an opportunity to really self-scout ourselves and get a bigger look at our next opponent.  I guess it is a double-edged sword, it can cut you one way and it can help you another way.

Does your injury to your leg require surgery?

At this point, no.  There aren't any.  Hopefully in nine weeks I can come back here and be 100 percent.  We really haven't discussed it yet, but at this time no.

What is the future of this team when you look at the core and what you have accomplished so far?

The future of this team is bright I think.  I think this football team has every attribute as far as making a run.  We didn't do it this year, but everybody is going to be back next year.  We don't have any guys that have major surgeries or anything of that nature.  The nucleus is here.  Depending on what happens with our coaching staff, the coaching staff is in place.  I am looking forward to it, I really am, but maybe this loss can light that fire back under us too so hopefully it does that.

How much will you welcome Osi back?

Ha.  Osi?  For me personally Osi never left.  He has always been our teammate.  Obviously we would loved to have had him this year and he is a great talent, but when he comes back here just like when I was hurt two years ago I don't think he is going to miss a beat.

How long does the loss stay with you?

This loss will stay with us until the opening game.  Especially against a team like the Eagles, a rivalry football team, it hurts, it really does.  We will find a way to use this as momentum coming into the offseason workouts and things like that.  Like I said, until we avenge it, and obviously it is going to stay longer than that too.

This season you went from being a piece of the puzzle to an All-Pro?

For me personally it is just a combination of hard work and my teammates helping me.  Obviously when you talk about a guy… any guy that is successful in this league it is because you have 10 other guys that are around him that put him in a situation to make plays and that includes the coaching staff too.  For me personally all the attributes I know everything says Justin Tuck on it, but it is a New York Giant award.

If you lose Spags, how much will you miss him, but how much will you wish him well?

Regardless of what happens with Spags we just talked and obviously we wish him well in any endeavors.  Obviously we would love for him to be back here, but if it is something that comes up that is right for him and Maria and he feels comfortable with it we definitely support him in any decision that he makes.  If he is not here we will definitely miss him.  He is one of those coaches that has certain attributes about him that you can't replace.  Obviously he is a great football mind, but more than that he is a great person and he is a guy that everybody loves playing for.  He is one of those coaches, I told him that he is kind of one of those coaches where he can kind of yell at the star player and get away with it because everybody loves him that much.  That part of it I don't think anybody else can replace, but like I said we wish him all the best in everything.

Do you think he has the qualities to continue to be that kind of coach at the next level?

I think so.  I am not the smartest football mind, but he is on everybody's list for a reason so I guess everybody else thinks that too.

If he does go, do you prefer to see someone get promoted from within to his job and keep a similar system?

Whenever a situation like that arises it is always beneficial to have someone that you are comfortable with.  Obviously we have been with this staff, or I have been with this staff for four years, Spags for two, but everybody else on the staff for four years so we would be comfortable with anybody that came up from those guys.  Lucky for me I don't get paid to make those decisions.  I know the people that do will make the right decisions. 

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