Bulluck: Chip on Shoulder Even Bigger

The Giants strongly believe they filled the void in the middle of their defense when they inked former Titans LB Keith Bulluck to a one-year contract on July 23. After listening to the confident Bulluck, it's hard not to agree. Read on to hear what the new number 53 had to say to TGI early in training camp.

Q: Why the Giants?
A: There really was no thought process. To be honest there really weren't too many actual biters, teams that were really interested. I told my agent in the beginning of the process that I really only wanted to entertain teams that were true contenders. Arizona showed strong interest; New York showed strong interest. So my agent picked those two teams first as far as teams for me to work out for and visit. The Giants have a great history. They won the Super Bowl three years ago. They were 11-1 before the incident with Plax and poised to maybe repeat that year. Last year was a subpar year but they started 5-0. And I'm a New York guy. Growing up 20 or 30 minutes from the stadium as a youth, it was pretty easy.

Q: Do you think you had a better handle on the Giants than other teams since you grew up in the area?
A: Possibly, just because I always pay attention to what's going on back home. I stay in New York and New Jersey during the offseason so I run into the guys. That's probably the only way. Other than that, I really just paid attention to what was going on in the AFC, unless the Giants were on our schedule.

Q: How cool is it going to be to be able to play so close to home?
A: It's going to be real cool. We still have a lot of work to do up here so I won't get that opportunity for a while, but the anticipation of it and the preparation for it beforehand is definitely exciting.

Q: How tough is it to join a team right before camp, having missed the entire offseason?
A: I've been playing for 10 years and defense is defense. I just have to translate my old terms into the way they speak their language. But defense is defense. I'm actually picking up the defense pretty fast. I'm a student of the game, I get in my book and go over my notes that I took, I go over the playbook every night before I go to bed and every break that I get a chance. My learning curve has to be accelerated.

Q: How has the beginning of camp gone for you so far?
A: It's going pretty good. I haven't had many opportunities to get on the field and apply the knowledge that I've gained but I know I will and I'm looking forward to that. I take a ton of mental notes and mental reps throughout the day during practice when I'm not actually out there on the field. One of the hardest things to do in this league is be a backup. When you're a backup, all you really get are mental reps. That's pretty much where I'm at right now – taking mostly mental reps.

Q: Once you're feeling comfortable in the defense what kind of player are the Giants fans going to see?
A: I guess a lot of people in this area are unfamiliar with me. But all you really have to do is Google me and check out my stats and my highlight tapes. My stats and my tapes speak measures. But I'm going to be a totally different player than I was in Tennessee. I'm playing middle linebacker here. It's the same position but middle linebacker and outside linebacker have a different pedigree. It's a different attitude that you bring to the table. I think I accomplish all that. Especially playing at home, I definitely bring a New York attitude with my style of play. Even at Tennessee, you can ask the people there and they'll tell you I did very well there. But that's in the past, and I'm definitely excited to help get this team to be a top 10 defense. Being a top 10 defense and having championship aspirations are the only things that anyone in a New York Giants uniform should be thinking about. I'm going to be a totally different player. I always play with reckless abandon. Being out there for seven months and not knowing where you're going to land after you've had the career that I had was kind of frustrating. But now I'm with the New York Giants. Coach Coughlin and his staff, Mr. Reese, and Mr. Mara; they all put faith in me and they believe in me. They believe in me as much as I believe in myself. I think the sky's the limit for myself and this defense.

Q: Are you excited about the position switch?
A: I'm very excited. I'm a totally different player than I was in Tennessee because of the road that I've taken to get here. I've rehabbed pretty much on my own with the help of my doctor and my trainer. Other than that, I was on my own. I wasn't in a facility with the help of a team. Right now, I'm rebuilt physically and mentally. I've always played with a chip on my shoulder, but the chip is even bigger. I think this team is a perfect fit for me. Two years ago, I was on a top 10 defense with Tennessee and two years ago the Giants were a top 10 defense. Last year, both defenses were at the bottom of the barrel. Collectively, we all have something to prove here.

Q: What else do the fans need to know about Keith Bulluck?
A: One thing most people probably are not aware of is that every year I've been a starter in this league I've never had less than 100 tackles. And that will continue. That's just a football fact.

Q: Lastly, I have a good friend, Lindsay Barton, attending Syracuse. What's your Orange alum advice for Lindsay?
A: Go to class.
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