New Jersey is still recovering from from the devastation left behind by Sandy but one sure sign that things are slowly getting back to normal is the sound of whining returning to the New York Giants locker room.
Giants players took some time off from complaining — maybe it was drowned out by the winds — after the teams' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was swiftly chastised by San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh three weeks ago for saying defensive tackle Justin Smith "gets away with murder."
Yesterday, Justin Tuck accused the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive linemen of the same Class A felony.
"I hope we get some holding calls, because they have gotten away with murder," the Giants defensive end told ESPN.com on Thursday. "They've done a very good job protecting Ben [Roethlisberger] — they don't hold on every play. But we've seen a whole lot of it."
While the Todd Haley-schemed Steelers O-line has improved in protecting their quarterback significantly this season, the once-vaunted Giants pass rush has seen a drastic decline in sacks. Tuck only has a total of one posted on his stat sheet through eight games this season.
"There's a reason why they call him Big Ben, but he's definitely a guy that does a great job of prolonging plays," said Tuck. "Not necessarily with his feet — he's good that way, too — but you see guys get straight rushes, and he kind of sidesteps them and they kind of fall off of him, so we realize that's going to be a big obstacle for us, and we got to make sure we wrap up when we get to him."
Tuck and his fellow defensive linemen have had a lot of practice chasing around mobile quarterbacks this season. Besides the hulking Roethlisberger, the Giants have met up with shifty scramblers like Cam Newton, Tony Romo, Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III.
"It's no easy task being a Giant D-lineman this year," Tuck quipped. "We've had some different animals out there, but you got to look at it as a great challenge for us."
Sounds like it's not as much of a case of "murder" as it is larceny — like Tuck being robbed of his sacks.