Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders signed veteran DE Justin Tuck Thursday. Tuck joins the Silver and Black after nine seasons and two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.
Drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Tuck has been an integral part of New York's defense. He played in 127 games and notched 453 tackles, 60.5 sacks, 24 passes defensed and 20 forced fumbles. Tuck is a two-time Pro Bowler (2008 and 2010) and first-team All-Pro in 2008.
The veteran showed up big in both Giants Super Bowl victories, notching 2.0 sacks on New England Patriots QB Tom Brady in each game.
Although Tuck spent his entire career thus far with the Giants, he is looking forward to starting fresh in Oakland. "It is tough to leave, but in leaving, I definitely wanted to go somewhere and start fresh and get an opportunity to really build a legacy," Tuck told 95.7 The GAME. "And to get an opportunity to get to come out to Raider Nation – everyone knows how crazy these fans are and how exciting it is to play in the Silver and Black. Getting an opportunity to meet with Coach and be with Reggie, they really have a plan on bringing great people in and starting with leadership and trying to mix with the young talent they have here and I just want to be a part of that."
He will join the Silver and Black as an established lineman, having served as the Giants' defensive captain from 2010-13. "I'm excited. I really am," said Tuck. "I like the direction that this team is talking about going in, and I just want to be a part of it. Obviously, everyone knows the history of the Raiders, and I just want to be a part of the group that brings it back."
Tuck is also established off the field. He was named the Giants 2011 Man of the Year and created Justin Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy. Tuck was involved in numerous community events during his time in New York.
He's looking forward to bringing his success on and off the field to the Raiders. "I'm really good friends with [former Raiders safety] Ronnie Lott and [former San Francisco Mayor and current Lieutenant Governor of California] Gavin Newsom, a lot of guys I've done work with from the business side, not necessarily the football side," Tuck said on The GAME. "That was a lure of mine also because I do a lot of work with my foundation, a lot of work in the community and that seems like it's going to be seamless transition coming from New York out here to be still part of something I'm very passionate about."
The veteran lineman believes his style of play will fit in with what Oakland is trying to accomplish. "I mesh well with it," said Tuck. "I had some opportunity to look at some film while I was here and go over terminologies. Our scheme now is very similar to what we ran at the Giants. I think I'll fit in very well and hopefully build on the great year I had last year and continue to do so."
Tuck's veteran leadership will play an important role when he dons the Silver and Black. "I think [the Raiders] sold me on the fact that we've got a lot of young talent that really can play, but need the leadership and need to see guys and need to understand how you have to go about working to win in this league," said on the radio.
The defensive end will meet the Raiders fans soon and remembers the members of Raider Nation from back in 2005. "I just remember regardless of what was going on in the game, you always remember the Black Hole," Tuck said to John Lund and Greg Papa. "You always remember the Raiders fans and how loud they were and how excited they were. You can just tell they're loyal fans. Regardless good or bad or in between, you always see them traveling well. That's something I always remembered about the Raider Nation."