Posted by Josh Katzowitz
It’s unfortunate when an ex-player rips former teammates -- ask Tiki Barber how that worked out for him -- but when it’s a former player’s new job to give his opinion, that’s the way of the world. But that also opens those former players up for criticism as well, especially when they question the toughness of their former colleagues.
And that’s exactly what Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora did when he got tired of hearing ex-Giants Michael Strahan and Antonio Pierce blast Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs for having to sit out games because of injuries.
"They played the game before," Umenyiora said, via the New York Daily News. "They know what it's like. It's very, very disappointing, and it makes me question how real and how authentic they really, really are. They know better than to come out and say some of the things that they've said."
Tuck has missed the past two games with groin and neck injuries, and Jacobs didn’t play last week after straining his MCL. Neither will play today vs. the Bills. It led Pierce to opine, “If you don't have an injury that needs surgery or is that severe, you need to be out there.”
Strangely enough, Pierce missed a half-season and eventually lost his career to a neck injury. Which strikes Tuck as a weird coincidence.
“I can definitely remember him missing some football games,” Tuck said, via ESPN New York.
But what bothers Umenyiora the most is the implication that Tuck and Jacobs aren’t tough. And he feels a former NFL player should know the difference between toughness and stupidity.
"You can't question a guy's toughness," he said. "You don't know what he's going through on the football field. If you go out there and you don't perform, if you go out there and you don't play up to your abilities, and everybody comes down on you, nobody cares you're injured. So you have to go out there and play when you feel you're able to go out there and contribute.
"For these guys to attack a Justin, is just ridiculous. They need to stop it and sit down."
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