Coughlin Tough, Tuck Tougher

Justin Tuck played 88 snaps in Saturday's 29-14 win over the Jets, the most he's ever executed.

Tom Coughlin took it one step at a time on Monday during his journey toward the podium before the New York media.

Seems he was still toughing out that blow DJ Ware gave him on the sideline when he was hit late out of bounds. But Coughlin, a geniune tough guy in his approach to football and his own injury, wasn't babying himself.

He even reportedly took treatment on that left knee, right along with the other nicked up players. Must have been quite a trainers room conversation.

When asked how he felt, he said, "Never better. But I may not be able to run for a while."

And when asked, jokingly, how much Ware will be fined for basically knee-capping his coach, Coughlin said, "He's no longer with the team."

That's all a lot of hooey, of course. Ware is still part of the roster, and Coughlin's physical toughness has become a metaphor for his team. No cane for this 65-year-old, as Justin Tuck's "No toughness, no championship" comment to Coughlin in the postgame locker room has become sort of a rallying cry now.

Aside from Coughlin, who is not counted on for running pass patterns or putting the quarterback on his rear end, Tuck showed an immense amount of toughness in the game. Apparently healing well from his stinger and toe problems, Tuck sacked Mark Sanchez once, made four tackles, and played 88 plays, the most he's ever had in one game.

In addition, Jason Pierre-Paul, Antrel Rolle, and Corey Webster each took 100 plays between defense and special teams. That's a tremendous workload, but necessary as the battered Giants tried to put their best athletes in the best position to help, given their extensive injury list.

Tuck's production, however, may be the most encouraging. If he can continue his effectiveness next Sunday against Tony Romo and his swollen passing hand, the Giants may well end up in the playoffs. For Tuck gives them that complementary pass-rusher to Pierre-Paul. Up until the Jets' game, teams could single him up and concentrate on doubling JPP.

Now, it's obvious Dallas will have to go back to paying attention to both sides, a task made even more difficult by the absence of starting left guard Montrae Holland, out with a partially torn bicep.

That could mean that left side will have to offer even more help on Pierre-Paul, which should leave openings for Tuck on the other side. Or Linval Joseph or Chris Canty on the inside stunts.

Either way, having Tuck back and working at full capacity can only help the Giants this weekend. It certainly did on Christmas Eve.

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