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DE Justin Tuck Interview


Q: What do you have to say for yourself and your team going into this ballgame?

A: We'll be ready to play on Sunday night.

Q: What about the importance of this game? How much do you guys prioritize winning the division?

A: That is our goal, obviously, first. That's the easiest and quickest way to get into the playoffs. Everybody wants to play for that second season so this game is very important. Like you said, it's a divisional game, a rivalry of ours and a game we definitely need in order to continue to keep the lead and how we are in this division race. You know it's going to be a tough game. Everyone is talking about the records, but you can throw it all out the window when it comes down to these two teams. It's going to be a hard fought game and hopefully we come out with a victory.

Q: What's the priority in trying to bring down LeSean McCoy?

A: Making sure you have all of your gaps filled and one-on-ones, just giving him only one way to go. He's made some people look silly this year with his quickness. For us personally, you just have to do those things and make sure you get 11 guys rallying to the football. That cuts off some of his avenues.

Q: Are you still working yourself back into the game? How are you feeling about your play?

A: It seems like I'm working my way back in. Obviously I'm not having the year that I've normally had. It's just part of it. Sometimes you're going to have some things that are acting up on you and it's not going to allow you to do the things that make you a good football player. That's neither here nor there. You just go out there and try to continue to work to help this football team get wins.

Q: Is it frustrating?

A: It's frustrating, but at the end of the day, wins take care of all of that.

Q: Are you preparing for this game like you're going to see Vick?

A: Yeah, I think we are. I just learned that he didn't practice today, but you can't count a guy like him out. We know this game is kind of do or die for them in the circumstance. We're practicing like he is going to play, but we are putting in some things to kind of get familiar with Vince Young also.

Q: The last time the Eagles were in this stadium you walked out with a bad feeling. Does that stick with you?

A: I'm sure I've said this before, that it will stick with me for the rest of my life. So yes, it does stick with me. But you can ease some of that pain by getting a win on Sunday night.

Q: Do you think you can knock these guys out of playoff contention and is that a motivation?

A: We don't really care. We just want to get a win, regardless of what scenario they're facing. We understand that a win is going to help us. They could be undefeated, we still want to win. They could be 0-10, we still want to win. Obviously that's motivation for people to make headlines about. For us personally, it's [motivation] for us to get a win regardless of what the scenario is.

Q: You held Frank Gore to zero yards rushing. Has the run defense officially turned that corner?

A: I don't know, man. We have to play more than one good game together. We have another great challenge in McCoy. We'll find out a lot about ourselves as far as that run game is concerned.

Q: Yesterday you said, 'I suck right now.'

A: I do suck.

Q: Why are you being so hard on yourself?

A: I'm a very honest person.

Q: Just don't like what you're seeing?

A: Um-um.

Q: How much of that is injuries?

A: It has some factors in it.

Q: What does that mean? What are you not doing?

A: That's my quote unquote way of trying to answer your questions. The more y'all ask me about my injuries, the more I'm going to figure out clever ways of not answering them.

Q: When you say you're disappointed in your play, what are you not doing?

A: I guess when I say it, it comes from stats, I guess. That's the selfish part of being the athlete, but the thing that keeps me going and I'm happy about is we're playing well. Regardless of what I do personally, we keep winning, I'm fine.

Q: When the game ends on Sunday, do you know there's a zero there for tackles or do you have to look at the stats?

A: I have to look at it. In the game you don't really pay attention to it. You really don't. You just go out there. The only thing that matters in that football game is if we have more points than they do, just like when you come in here and you're hurting. On days when you lost, those injuries feel a whole lot worse than on days when you win. I guess the same can be considered when you talk about how you're playing individually.

Q: You had a hand on Smith on one play. If you had that one sack, then you're not saying those things.

A: I don't know. It's more than that. I've had games where stats have been great and I played like crap and vice versa.

Q: So it's a non-stats thing.

A: It's not. It isn't. It isn't.

Q: You just don't feel like yourself.

A: I don't.

* *

Q: When you analyze yourself, is it just…

A: I'm not me. I'm not.

Q: You're used to being a very good player.

A: I'm not a very good player right now. It's frustrating because I do look at myself on film and I don't like what I see. It's not the effort. I feel like I'm putting forth the effort, but it's just some things are not allowing me to play my style of football.

Q: Do you think that's the way it's going to be this year and you just have to get over it?

A: No. I'm very hopeful that sooner or later we'll catch it with all of the little nagging things. It's not anything that's going to hold me out of a game. It's just little things where I know I can't put myself in these positions like I normally could because that potentially could lead to something different.

Q: Are you cautious on the field?

A: Not until I have an episode in a game, which I haven't had in a few weeks. But you get some things where you watch on film and you see yourself being put in that position and you feel a little tug here or there. I don't know. I try not to play cautious. I think I'm not playing cautious.

Q: Are you afraid to do things?

A: It's not that I'm afraid to do things. It's just some things I can't do. It won't allow me to do it.

Q: Do you feel that there's more that you give to this team this year?

A: I think the guys appreciate the fact that they know I'm going through some stuff body-wise and I think they appreciate the fact that I try to come in here every week and be on that football field. That's all you can ask. You can ask a guy to give 100 per cent, that's all you can ask.

Q: Can defensive ends have down years like quarterbacks and running backs have?

A: It looks like it.

Q: It looks like one of those years?

A: We still have seven games left so we'll see.

Q: Do you have hope that you can still be a dominant player this year?

A: Yeah I do, obviously. I wouldn't come here and work every day if I didn't. It's getting better. It's just not getting better as fast as I want it to be. That's the frustrating part of it.

Q: The numbers are ego?

A: Oh yeah. No question.

Q: I'm not saying it's negative. You always want to do better. The numbers are not going to be there this year. Is it a matter of doing other things to help the team win?

A: The biggest thing for me is whatever position the coach wants to put me in to help this football team win, I really don't care. I think that can go a long way to helping a football team win. Like you said, numbers are ego. A lot of things that players can do on a football field to help a team win don't show up on the stat sheet. For me, man, I can sit around here and mope around talking about I suck, but at the end of the day I'm still out there helping a football team win.

Q: Does it add to your frustration because you were so looking forward to getting back on the field?

A: Yeah. Definitely. You think battling for a few weeks, being out for a few weeks and coming back you would think, well that's over with and done with. But it's not the case. Injuries nag. With our schedule you don't have time to get healthy I guess. It's just the way it is, you deal with it.

Q: Do you think the players look at you differently? It's easier to be a leader when you're a star player.

A: That's something that stays in the back of my mind, knowing that every year somebody is going to battle with injuries and somebody's going to have some downfalls. I think Coach Coughlin is one of those guys that always picks up quotes and some of the ones that he talks about is, 'It's not about if you fall, but it's about how you get up.' We're all going to fall in some capacity at some time. It's about how you handle yourself in those trying situations. For me, I know the young guys look at situations like that so hopefully when their time comes to go through these trying issues they can look back at how I handled it.

Q: Are you going to watch the hands to the face mask?

A: That's not my job.

Q: But you're going to make sure they don't get there.

A: I'll try my best.

Q: Can winning help ease the pain? A: Absolutely.

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