Tuck: D must change mindset, carry Giants

Justin Tuck knows the New York Giants will go as far as Eli Manning takes them.

Still, the defensive captain wants his unit to start thinking that it must carry the Giants and not have to rely on the offense to lead the way to victory.

“I hope this defense can carry the team,” Tuck said last week at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic at Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y. “Every time we go out on the field this year, we can’t think that [the offense will carry the team].”

“We have to think like we are going to carry this team,” Tuck added.

Last season, the Giants averaged 26.8 points, sixth best in the NFL. The defense allowed 21.5 points to finish 13th among defenses. But the Giants finished 31st in total yards allowed (383.4), 28th in passing yards allowed (254.2) and 25th in rushing yards allowed (129.1).

GM Jerry Reese made changes to the defense in the offseason. Osi Umenyiora, Michael Boley, Kenny Phillips, Chase Blackburn and Chris Canty are gone.

Reese focused on beefing up his defensive line by adding defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and drafting Johnathan Hankins. He brought back Aaron Ross and Shaun Rogers and signed Aaron Curry and Dan Connor, among other moves.

But Tuck thinks the Giants can also improve from within by altering their mindset. He wants his defense to adopt an old school Giants' defensive mentality and stop relying so much on the offense.

“That might be something we lack because our offense is so good, thinking to ourselves that we can kind of give up this and that,” Tuck said. “[We have] to kind of get away from that and approach the game in a way that those '80’s teams did with [Lawrence Taylor] and all those guys.

“They went out into a game trying to kill an offense and not give them anything,” Tuck continued. “We have to get back to that on defense. I don’t care if our offense puts up 40 points a game. We have to put up six.”

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