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2012 Super Bowl, Giants Vs. Patriots: 2011 An 'Eye-Opening Experience' For Justin Tuck

New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has fought through an injury-plagued season, dealing with neck, ankle, groin and now shoulder injuries. The result has been that Tuck’s performance has been far below the two-time Pro Bowlers standards.

Yet, Tuck and the Giants have reached the 2012 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. Tuck called the 2011 season an “eye-opening experience” during a press conference Sunday after the Giants landed in Indianapolis.

“I want to be the leader this football team can always look to. I thought I had to do that only by what I do on the football field. Only sacks and tackles, things like that,” Tuck said. "This has been an eye-opening experience for me knowing that leadership doesn’t necessarily have to do with how you play on the field, it has to do with what goes on behind closed doors and how you can motivate guys in other situations.

“I’ve learned a lot this year. It’s made me a better football player, better person.”

— See Big Blue View for more discussion and analysis of the Gants