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Postgame DE Justin Tuck Interview


Q: Bye week rust?A: Nope.

Q: Did you need a pep talk at half?A: It wasn't like we were lethargic. I just felt that we weren't making the plays that Miami was giving us an opportunity to make. That first half, I felt as though we were playing fast, but they were creasing us on some things that one guy was just a step slow and things of that nature. I didn't see us needing a pep talk. I felt that we were going to straighten it out.

Q: Describe the fourth quarter.A: Our offense did a great job of just continuing to fight and giving us that lead there in the fourth quarter. Finally we got some stops on their run game. Miami did a good job of hitting us with some things in the run game to keep us off balance. Right there in the fourth quarter we got some stops on Reggie [Bush] and got some third-and-favorable situations. It allowed us to get on the edges and really come after the quarterback. I feel as though we do that better than anybody.

Q: How would you assess the team's overall performance so far?A: We're 5-2. That's how I would assess it. Obviously we can play better. We are just going to continue to mosey along and hopefully we can continue to get some wins. Obviously our schedule gets tough with a big game up in New England next week. We'll see where we are real soon.

Q: How much confidence do you have in the offense with these games that come down to the fourth quarter?A: I'm starting to see grey hair. That's a true statement actually. If anybody wants to look, I'll show you. We have the utmost confidence in Eli and these guys. The offense, they find a way to put us in a situation to win the ballgame at the end. I don't know what Eli's stats were today, but we didn't turn the ball over on offense. We put ourselves in some positions to maybe have more points, but I felt as though [the offense] did a good job of controlling the game all game even though we didn't score as much as maybe the stats say we should've. I felt as though our offense was in control pretty much the entire game.

Q: How good is Eli paying?A: He's playing awesome. He told you all, I don't know how long ago, at the beginning of this year, that he was elite. I feel like he's proving that right now.

Q: How does it feel to get back on the field?A: It felt good. A little rusty. Some plays out there that I kind of left on the football field. I feel if I was completely healthy I could have made [those plays]. It was fun to be out there with the guys and kind of feel that excitement again. Obviously being on the sideline with that towel and those red shorts is not where I want to be. Getting on the football field today was awesome. Hopefully we can stay healthy and keep playing games.

Q: Will it be nostalgic this week, playing the Patriots?A: Not really. We didn't play up there. The game we lost was here and the game we won was in Arizona. That's all behind us. I don't think that run in '07 is going to help us get a victory up there next week. We have to put that behind us and focus on the now.

Q: Was there an adjustment at halftime to contain Matt Moore?A: I felt as though in the third quarter we sat down and said, 'Alright he's kind of killing us here so we have to do something about it.' We started doing a little bit more inside as far as letting our tackles kind of eat up the offense instead of putting them on the edges like we did in the first half. Obviously that kind of slowed our pass rush down in the third quarter, but I felt as though that was a turn where we started to stop the run too. I think our coaching staff did a good job of helping us out. Coming into the game we knew he was banged up, had a little rib injury and we didn't feel as though he was going to run as much as he did. He hurt us in the first half running the football.

Q: How much does this team have to pick up its play considering the schedule coming up?A: I think you all don't give Miami enough credit. Even though they haven't won a game, that's a talented football team. They came ready to play and obviously we could have played better today, but let's not take away the fact that those Dolphins get paid too. We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game. If you look at the games they've played, a lot of them have been down to the wire, fourth quarter wins. But yes, we do have to play better. New England is a great football team and we know all about them. We are going to have to play a tremendously better game, especially on the road in a place where they don't lose a lot of games. We're going to have to play a whole lot better.

Q: Talk about the play of JPP and Linval Joseph, both in their second years, and the penalty on LinvalA: I felt as though that penalty was unwarranted. On the goal line, the running back scrambling, what do you expect him to do? I think Linval doesn't get enough of the headlines just because of how awesome JPP has been this year. Those two guys have definitely made tremendous strides from where they were last year and they continue to do that. That's just going to continue our defense. I can honestly say that I feel as though we have seven, maybe eight starters on our defense if they were playing anywhere else. We joke around with an A team and B team, but five through eight, we feel so confident in them being in the football game that it doesn't really matter who's in the football game. A lot of that has to do with the progression from these two guys being rookies and not really knowing what they're doing to having the same talent, if not more talent this year and being in that classroom and really knowing what this defense asks of them.

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