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DE Justin Tuck Transcript


Should I go ahead and get it out of the way that I have no idea what Plaxico is doing? Because I know that's going to be about 18 of your questions.

Q: What about your linemate?

A: Who?

Q: Umenyiora

A: Oh, that guy.

Q: Is that really all he is now? Oh, that guy?

A: He's always been that. Oh, that guy.

Q: I guess you're not surprised that he wasn't here. Do you have any sense that he'll be here shortly?

A: I have no sense. I haven't talked to him in a few days. I don't know what he's thinking or how he wants to play it. You guys know what I know.

Q: Should he take Kiwi coming back as a sign …
A: I don't know. I don't know where his discussions with upper management have been or are going or if they're going at all. So I don't know if that's a signal or what, I don't know. Obviously my stance on it is I would love to have Osi back. He's a dynamic player and he makes this defense a lot better. With that said, that's all I know about it.

Q: Have you reached out to him?
A: Yeah.

Q: And he hasn't got back to you?
A: We talked for a few days. I haven't reached out to him in the past 2 to 3 days.

Q: So it's not like he's ignoring you?
A: No. He's not ignoring, no. Not at all.

Q: As a captain of this team, is this a distraction? Is it irritating that he's not here?
A: Not yet. We haven't practiced yet. Obviously when we're out there tomorrow and he's not there you'll feel the effects of it because he's our starting right defensive end. You lose a guy of that caliber and you're definitely going to feel the effects of it. But, you know, hopefully he's here tomorrow. We'll see and wait.

Q: If he's not here and Mathias can't practice until next week, how much can you really get done?
A: We can get a lot done. Our first day back. I haven't played football or been around football in the last 6 months. We're all pretty rusty. So, we have a lot of work to get done. Regardless if Osi's here or Kiwi's out there, someone's got to step up. JPP is coming off a great end of a season last year. We're expecting great things from him too. We all need to work.

Q: Have your feelings about welcoming Burress back changed since what happened in '08?
A: Have they changed since then? Yes. Everybody deserves a second chance. He's no different than anybody else that did something that maybe they wish they could take back. The fact of the matter is this: everyone still believes that he's a quality football player that's going to help a football team out whether it's here or not. With that said, I mean yeah I would love to have him back. But, it is a few (stumbling?) blocks in place that him and Coach Coughlin and upper management need to sit down and have a man-to-man conversation about.

Q: Do you think Coach Coughlin and Plax can co-exist?
A: I definitely do. I think they can.

Q: Why?
A: It's two grown men. Men make mistakes and you move on from it. If that happens, then yes they can co-exist. Will they co-exist? I don't know. But, can they? Yes.

Q: Plax has been very vocal in saying what he hasn't been happy with about Coach Coughlin. Have you had a conversation with him about it?
A: Have I had a conversation with Plaxico about Coach Coughlin? No, I have not.

Q: Would you if he asked you if he was the same?
A: Sure, I would tell him the truth.
Q: Which is?

A: Which is you know what to expect from Coach Coughlin. He's a guy that's __ with his set of rules and he expects you to live by them. Is he a little bit more lenient than what he was when I first got in the league? Absolutely. Has he became more of a coach that you can go talk to and say you know, coach I don't agree with this and blah blah blah? Yes. Will he change it? Maybe not, maybe he will. But at least he's open enough to have that. He's more of a coach that you can sit down and have a conversation with.

Q: That was since 2007 that he became that way. In 2008 they couldn't co-exist.

A: We'll see what happens. I can't tell you what's going to happen from this point on. But, everyone knows about the butting of heads of Coach Coughlin and Plaxico. Will that be the same? If I knew that answer, then I'd know a lot of other answers that I could be a very rich guy.

Q: Knowing both parties like you do, why do they butt heads?

A: I don't know. Maybe because both of them are very stubborn in their own little ways, but who knows. You'd have to ask Coach Coughlin that. I'm not in those meetings.

Q: If your feelings about him have changed, what were your feelings then?

A: In '08 we were all just upset because we thought we had another Super Bowl run and we didn't play the same without him. Other than that, none of my feelings changed. I still think he was a dynamic player. I still think he's one of those wide receivers that's one of those rare breeds that come along once in a blue moon. A 6'5'' guy with blazing speed, great hands, not afraid to go against the __. You can look around this league right now and you can only name a handful of those guys.

Q: Did you visit him?

Q: Has the front office sought your feelings on bringing Plax back?
A: Not me. Maybe Eli. They ask me about a lot of things, but as far as making moves with players they don't.

Q: Is it realistic to think that Linval and Austin could replace Rocky and Cofield?
A: It's going to have to be realistic because that's what we're going to ask them to do.

Q: What was your initial impression seeing them out here today?
A: I didn't look at them so I don't know. They made all their times. That's what we ask them to do, so my initial impression is good. They made all their times.

Q: How important is it to get Ahmad back?
A: Very. Big part of our offense, not only in the running game, but also one of those running backs that has been a great asset to Eli on third down in the backfield. It's very important. He's one of those _ starters. He makes a lot out of nothing. I'm hoping we can make that happen.

Q: You've been playing with Seubert and O'Hara for a long time. What's it going to be like in the locker room without them?
A: It's going to be very different. Those guys are locker room guys. Everybody knows what they can do on the football field, but in the locker room they can make the dullest of days be very exciting very quickly. I think that's where we're going to miss them the most. The team really loved the attitude they brought to the team and it's going to be missed.

Q: Did you look for Rich?
A: No. I've talked to Rich a lot. That's my hunting buddy. We do a lot together.

Q: Veterans said they enjoyed the rest during the lockout. Did the offseason help you?
A: In the football sense … Get away from football. It's refreshing. Not just for your body, but also your mind. It allowed me to do a lot of other things. I'm very involved with my charity. I got to play with my son a lot. There were a lot of things I got to do this offseason that I wouldn't have been able to do if football was in session. That being said, I'm glad it's back. I'm definitely glad that we now have the opportunity to go back to doing what we like doing.

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