Justin Tuck fires back at comments

Updated: December 23, 2010, 5:09 PM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is "upset" over former teammate Michael Strahan's critique of the Giants in the wake of their 38-31 meltdown last Sunday against Philadelphia.

Strahan, a Fox studio analyst, skewered the Giants after their collapse against the Eagles, calling his former team "soft and relaxed" during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Fox Sports Radio. Strahan added that the Giants "should be ashamed of themselves" after allowing Philadelphia to rebound from a 31-10 deficit with a little more than 8 minutes to go in the fourth.

"I'm not ashamed and I don't think anybody in this locker room should be ashamed," Tuck said. "We played a great 52 minutes and it just wasn't for us. Sometimes things happen and you have no explanation about it. And I don't have any explanation.

"I'm not making any excuses. We played like crap those last eight minutes, but I would never start saying things like that ain't never happened to anybody else. I'm sure we lost a lot of games when Strahan was here too."

One reporter joked that the Giants were undefeated when Strahan was on the team.

"You're right. We didn't lose not one," Tuck replied facetiously. "He always sacked the quarterback every pass play, too."

Tuck cited the 2006 Giants' loss against the Titans in which they let Tennessee come back from a 21-0 deficit in the fourth quarter as an embarrassing defeat Strahan was a part of. He was told that Strahan did not play in that game.

"But he was on the team [and] we fed off his leadership," Tuck said. "I say that to say this: We've all had times in our careers ... when we've been on teams where things didn't go [our] way. I don't start pointing fingers."

"That ain't for me to judge any individual in this locker room," he later added. "I know those guys out there played their asses off. They played hard. It just didn't work out."

Strahan said Monday that the Giants lacked intensity in the final 8 minutes against the Eagles.

"I'm not apologizing for that, they should be ashamed of themselves," the Fox football analyst said. "You look at that game and wonder how it got out of hand for the Giants. They got soft and relaxed. They thought 'We got it.' With 8 minutes to go, they're up by 21 and give up an easy touchdown to Brent Celek and all of a sudden the blitz's looked like 'whoever gets there gets there' [lackadaisical] instead of 'I'm going to make that play and not wait for someone to make that play.'"

Tuck said he would address Strahan personally to voice his displeasure.

"I am kind of upset. But you know, me and Strahan will talk about that when me and Strahan talk about it," Tuck said. "Other than that I'm just focused on Green Bay."

Quarterback Eli Manning, who famously shot back at Tiki Barber when the then-NBC analyst questioned his leadership, said Wednesday that he didn't pay attention to Strahan's comments.

"Well, it is typical," Manning said. "He has gone media so that is what they do. ... He's on the dark side now. That is what happens."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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