Justin Tuck is a superstar in the NFL, plain and simple. He’s on Subway commercials, plays in the most popular sport in the world and is on the verge of doing something historic: be among a group of players who will be the first to win three Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants.
But Tuck almost wasn’t a part of the illustrious group, and it has nothing to do with him signing with another team — it has to do with the fact that after the 2011 season, Tuck almost retired.
It was an injury plagued 2011 season for the defensive captain and Pro Bowler was one that saw his production take a nose dive, and his drive to succeed and will to play in the game take a serious hit.
“I did some soul-searching [after last year] and really had to ask myself if this is what I want to do.” Tuck said. “Obviously, I’m back, and I just feel kind of refreshed mentally. I think a lot of things were weighing on me last year where I couldn’t necessarily be my normal self on and off the football field. I’ve kind of put those things in the past now and moved forward.”
Tuck admits that he “contemplated” retirement at multiple junctures of last year, a season that included not only professional setbacks, but personal ones as well including the death of his grandfather and uncle. But to calm Giants fans, Tuck clarified again that he’s no longer serious about retiring anytime soon. and the fact he won his second Super Bowl ring didn’t hurt either.
“I think that was just me feeling sorry for myself for a little bit there. … I wasn’t thinking clearly. After winning the Super Bowl, getting away from football for a while allowed me to just think clearly.”
Tuck credited his wife and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin as major factors in his decision to not hang up the cleats after just a six year career. But Tuck says he’s back and ready to join that illustrious group of Giants to etch their names into the history of the franchise in a legendary way.
“I’m not ready to give it up,” he said. “regardless of the hardships”