Justin Tuck on Prince Amukamara incident: “That’s kind of a rite of passage. In a way it’s a good thing.”

August 24, 2012 – 5:00 am by Steven Cuce

The New York Giants are looking to move past the whole Jason Pierre-Paul dumping cornerback Prince Amukamara into a cold tub incident over the weekend.

Defensive end Justin Tuck has a different take on the whole incident, explaining to the media that it’s all in good fun. Prince Amukamara needs to step up this season in order for the Giants secondary to stay afloat. Tuck feels his teammates are giving Amukamara some love, so he knows everyone is behind him.

Justin Tuck joined 98.7 ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show (Stephen A.Smith filling in) to discuss feeling good about this Giants team during the preseason, the media making too big of a deal about Prince Amukamara being dunked in a bucket of ice cold water, Steve Weatherford being sorry he posted the video of Prince Amukamara on Twitter, and not being as nice as Prince Amukamara.

How are you feeling about the team right now in the preseason?

“We are feeling pretty good. I just feel like this football team is poised to do a lot of great thing if we can stay healthy and stay humble. I think we’ve done that so far. The biggest thing for us is staying healthy. We got a lot of talent. We got an elite quarterback. We got an up and coming defense with a lot of hungry individuals who are ready to continue making names for themselves. I like where we are at.”

What was dunking Prince Amukamara into the bucket of ice cold water all about? Was there too much made of it? Where were you?

“No question. There is always a lot more made of it. That’s the culture of an NFL locker room. I got dumped into a cold tub my rookie year. Michael Strahan got dumped into a tub his rookie year. That’s been part of NFL culture. I understand the perception after seeing the video of what a lot of people would say is bullying or hazing or things like that. Honestly that’s kind of a rite of passage. For a guy like Prince to get dumped? That means that we are looking at Prince as a big part of our defense, a big part of our success as a team and he has to go through the ropes. We’ve all done it. In a way it’s a good thing. A person who hasn’t played a sport or been in a locker room may not understand, but it’s definitely not anything where we got animosity towards Prince or any bullying towards Prince or any other player for that matter. As a matter of fact after the video guys were sitting in the locker room playing cards. Prince was one of them and guys were telling jokes. There’s no bullying. There’s no animosity. It’s part of an NFL culture and the only reason I wasn’t in the video was because I was having some conversations with a coach about a certain package we were running on defense that week.”

How do you let the punter in Steve Weatherford put the video viral on the internet? How does he get away with that?

“We keep that in house. To Steve’s credit he stood up and took it like a man and said he made the mistake. It was something that was going to be perceived as funny in this twitterverse world and in the world of twitter and things of that nature. I think he was very sorry for doing something like that. This team is a family. We understand guys make mistakes and Steve was a big part of our success last year. How he punted the ball and things like that. As far as we are concerned it is water under the bridge. We are done with it and moving forward.”

Let me ask you something: If someone really dumped you into a bucket of ice cold water your rookie year would people be asking you to stand up for yourself?

“When? Now? As a rookie? [Stephen A. Smith: As a rookie?] I’m a different cat. I’m not as nice as Prince is, but I’m a different cat.”

Listen to Justin Tuck on 98.7 ESPN New York here

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