Former New York Giants Antonio Pierce was a guest on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 98.7 FM on Friday, and says that Justin Tuck just isn't the same player he used to be. The Giants' vaunted pass rush looks to have regressed, especially ont he part of Tuck, who has only three sacks this seaosn. Compare that to 19 1/2 sacks the past three years.
"I played with Justin Tuck and have a tremendous respect for him. But he has not been the same player emotionally, mentally or his play in the last three years. It's just the facts," Pierce said.
"He came on late last season and once Antrel Rolle and a couple of other guys said he had to pick it up, but for the most part, he's a situation, third-down, passing situation defensive end."
Pierce played wiht Tuck from 2005-2009, and retired as Tuck was developing into one of the top DEs int he league. Now, Pierce just doesn't see that energy anymore.
"When you watch him on Sundays, you do not see the energy, you do not see the fire he used to play with. And I don't know why. I don't know if it's personal stuff going on or maybe he's physically tired."
Granted, injuries have played a part in Tuck's regression. He had his problems over the past two years, including his shoulder injury, which might sit him down against the Ravens on Sunday.
"For me, the guy I played with, when he was there, a lot of energy, a lot of passion, brought it each and every play, each and every snap, loved to play the game," Pierce said. "I heard him mention it last year before the run [that] he didn't know where his mind was at, or if he was into the game. His comments this week, the same thing. As much as I want to give the answer, that's really a question he has to answer."