Justin Tuck more concerned with 2021 Giants than reliving past

The Giants have unveiled plans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Super Bowl 46 victory over the Patriots, and one of that team’s captains has expressed the importance of looking toward the franchise’s future more so than celebrating its past.

The Super Bowl 46 champions will be honored at halftime of the Giants-Rams game Oct. 17 at MetLife Stadium, the keynote to the team’s Reunion Weekend. To Justin Tuck, the coronation of that fourth Giants Super Bowl champion serves as a reminder that it’s time for his former team to contend again.

“I’ve always been a guy that really never wanted to celebrate past things,” Tuck said on Wednesday during a conference call for the upcoming American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. “I want to see my Giants win this Super Bowl and the next Super Bowl. I want to be more focused on that, to be honest with you.

“I’ll never take for granted the fact that they’re gonna put together a lot of things for us as a team. … But my message to all Giants fans and the Giants organization is, we haven’t done much since then, so let’s get back on track.”

Justin Tuck celebrates the Giants' last Super Bowl.
Justin Tuck celebrates the Giants’ last Super Bowl.

Tuck, a 2005 third-round pick out of Notre Dame, was on two Super Bowl winning teams and made the playoffs two other times in his nine seasons with the Giants.

In the nine seasons since that Super Bowl 46 victory, however, the Giants have made the playoffs just once and finished better than .500 twice. Yet there are signs they finally may be heading in the right direction following a 6-10 mark last season.

In the offseason, the Giants bolstered their defense, signing free agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to team with James Bradberry as anchors in the secondary, and drafting linebacker Azeez Ojulari, who is already turning heads, in the second round out of Georgia.

“I love what we did on defense,” the All-Pro defensive end said. “I think our defensive unit is a strong unit and that’s how we’ve always lived for the teams that have been successful on the Giants, if you think about some of the names we’ve had on defense in our Super Bowl seasons.”

Tuck also noted that the eventual return of star running back Saquon Barkley from a torn ACL will bode well for the offense, and he believes that Daniel Jones is poised for a good year in his third season under center.

Though the pandemic has prevented Tuck from visiting with the Giants as often as he typically would, he has remained connected with the organization. He said that what he has heard has him upbeat that a return to relevancy — and more — is around the corner.

“I’m optimistic, but I also know we’ve got a long way to go,” Tuck said. “I think Coach [Joe] Judge is doing a great job. Everything I’ve heard from all those guys on the team, they love playing for the guy. So I’m looking forward to somewhat of a turnaround season for us this year.”

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