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Fact or Fiction: Pressure on Justin Tuck?

Posted Apr 4, 2013

The Giants.com staff gives their opinions on topics surrounding the Giants!

The player with the most pressure to have a bounce-back season is defensive end Justin Tuck.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - Tuck is a worthy candidate, but I’m going to go with Corey Webster. He did not play up to his usual standard last season and because cornerbacks are on an island, his performance was very visible. With five good cornerbacks on the roster, Webster must return to his former self.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - I will put the onus on Corey Webster, who seems to be in the crosshairs of most Giants fans after last season. He is tasked with guarding the other team’s best WR and when he makes a mistake it’s often a touchdown that everyone sees it again and again on instant replay. He needs to play better. Tuck is a close second on defense, after a year with low production and entering the final year of his contract. Offensively, I think there’s a certain amount of pressure on Eli Manning to play better than he did last season. (getting his completion percentage over 60% would be a good start) Hakeem Nicks also needs to get healthy and have a bounce back year, which would help his quarterback a bunch.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - The entire defense needs a bounce-back year, and, in terms of players, that falls to the captain. Corey Webster may be under the most heat from the outside because of the position he plays, but Tuck needs to return to the Tuck of old to keep the defense in line, especially with the departure of some longtime Giants.

The player most likely to have a breakout year in his third season is linebacker Jacquian Williams.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - With Michael Boley gone, Williams has an opportunity to become an impact player at weakside linebacker.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - This is a tough question to answer because I’m not sure what constitutes a breakout year. Was last year a breakout year for Prince Amukamara? If not, then he could be the answer to this question. James Brewer is also in the running, since he will have the chance to compete for a starting job. The Giants would also like to get something out of Jerrel Jernigan and Marvin Austin, high draft picks from the 2011 draft. This is a make or break year for both. I will go with Jacquian Williams, however, since he has the best chance of being a starter this year and has showed the athleticism to be an excellent coverage linebacker.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - I’m going with Prince Amukamara. When you don’t hear a cornerback’s name for an extended period of time, that usually means he is playing well. And that’s what Amukamara did in 2012. In a forgettable year for the defense as a whole, Amukamara grew and showed he can be consistent when healthy. With only one interception, he didn’t have any glaring numbers, but those may catch up in his third season for a true breakout year.

The second-year player you’re most curious to see progress this offseason is defensive end Adewale Ojomo.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - No disrespect to Ojomo, but he’s a free agent who played briefly in one game last season. My eye is on David Wilson. He was a first-round draft choice who is expected to be the starting running back in 2013. Wilson’s performance will have a much greater impact on the Giants’ success than Ojomo’s.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - I want to see whether or not Adrien Robinson can translate what he has learned in the classroom onto the football field. He is a good athlete and spent his rookie season learning. I’m very excited to see the player Jerry Reese called “The JPP of tight ends” show his athleticism on the field. He needs to show the coaches this offseason that he understands the playbook and has his fundamentals down. Once the regular season comes I think we can see huge jumps from David Wilson and Reuben Randle, but offseason workouts won’t be able to show a ton. It’s the same for Jayron Hosley. As for Ojomo, I need to see him produce against better competition and stop the run consistently. I don’t think we’ll see that until the preseason.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - The player I’m most curious to see come training camp is tight end Adrien Robinson. Like Ojomo, he was a raw talent going into his rookie season. He was hampered by his alma mater’s schedule, which kept him out of OTA’s as he finished up classes. Playing in only two games, you can’t yet tell what he can do on the field professionally, but he clearly grew physically and has one of the best position coaches in the NFL working with him in Mike Pope.

DRAFT CLASS CHALLENGE: The best Giants draft class was 1984.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - It was a deep draft with Carl Banks, William Roberts, Jeff Hostetler, Gary Reasons and Lionel Manuel. That’s five important contributors to championship teams. The Fact - that Hostetler was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback puts this class over the top.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - This is with no doubt the Giants top draft class. Carl Banks made the All-Decade team in the 80’s and was a rock on the other side of the defense from Lawrence Taylor. His complete game helped allow LT be the player he was. William Roberts was a starter for a long time on the offensive line. Without Jeff Hostettler the Giant do not win their second Super Bowl. Gary Reasons and Lionel Manuel were both reliable starters. 1984 all the way!

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - It’s 1981 with Lawrence Taylor. There are once-in-a-decade players. There are once-in-a-generation players. There are even Hall-of-Fame players. Then there are icons. L.T. is an icon. What more could you ask for in a draft? Yes, it’s a team game, it’s not about individuals, but he has two Super Bowl rings. What more do you want? I think the results of our challenge will back me up.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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