Posted July 20, 2012

Giants’ Justin Tuck: I didn’t work as hard as I should have last year

NFL

Justin Tuck didn’t try as hard as he could last season, and that resulted in his least productive year as a starter. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite his team winning the Super Bowl last year, New York Giants defensive leader Justin Tuck said he didn’t give last season his all.

In an interview with ESPN’s E:60, the defensive end said he was distracted at the start of the season and did not give 100 percent.

“I definitely didn’t work as hard as I should’ve last year,” Tuck said. “The lockout was going on. I took a trip to Africa. There were some things I did in the past that I didn’t do last summer.”

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Tuck had several injuries last season, including a shoulder injury that required surgery. He sat out four contests and had only five sacks, the least in his four seasons as a full-time starter at defensive end.

“I wanted to be out there,” Tuck said. “But I’d go two or three games and just get a half sack. I started to wonder why I was playing when there were other people who could do a better job. There’s a difference between playing hurt and playing injured.”

Fortunately for the Giants and Tuck, fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had a standout 2011 season that saw him rack up 16.5 sacks and lead the Giants’ defensive line.