Dec 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the New Orleans Saints 52-27. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Giants Justin Tuck practicing more at linebacker this training camp

Jul 28, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) during training camp at the Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

While perusing the inter-web for Giants news last night, I stumbled upon an interesting article written by Connor Orr of The Star-Ledger discussing Justin Tuck standing up in the linebacker role more often in practices, recently.

If you have watched the Giants over the last couple of years, the sight of Tuck not in a three-point stance, while not frequent, wasn’t necessarily uncommon.  Defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, has been experimenting with different fronts with the rush ends standing up and moving around pre-snap (“NASCAR”), to cause confusion in blocking assignments for the offensive line.

While the scheme is interesting, the one thought that always jumped out in my mind when I saw it was, “I hope Tuck isn’t going to drop back in coverage.”  The thought of an aging and oft injured Tuck trying to keep up with a speedster in the slot or Jamaal Charles coming out of the backfield gives me nightmares.

In a way, it might be good to try and re-invigorate Tuck, who has certainly had his struggles the past couple of seasons, but it might also end up being counter-intuitive.  The Giants, and Fewell, should be putting Tuck in a position that allows him to focus on getting back to what made him a star in the NFL.  Instead, he is going to have to learn a new position and the intricacies that come along with that.

Tuck was quoted in Connor Orr’s article saying, “It’s weird, it’s something I did in high school and college more, but eight years of putting your hand in the dirt – it’s a little different.  But like I said, I’ll do whatever the coaching staff feels will help the defense out.”  Those words don’t exactly sound like a guy who is exciting and comfortable with the possibility of playing this new role.

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  • big daddy

    It’s about time the Giants start going back to a 3-4. Start slowly until you have all the necessary personnel. The 3-4 as a base defense has more flexibility and can more easily defend pass orientated offenses.

    • James

      I actually agree with you big daddy, I don’t mind them toying with different fronts, I’m just not sure I would use Tuck in that particular role at this point in his career. Although, I am sure they must be using some others players like Damontre Moore in that role too (and I think he would be awesome at it). A lot of teams are playing multiple schemes nowadays (the Patriots are a perfect example of a team that goes back and forth from 3-4 and 4-3 over the last couple of years). I also really like that at least Fewell is trying to shake things up a little bit. It’s not like the defense can be much worse than they were last year!

      Thanks for the comment!