Everyone has favorite players. When you’re a kid you like the guy wearing your favorite number.  As you get older you like a player that gets it done on the field and off the field.

The New York Giants have a guy like that and his name is Justin Tuck.   Tuck is one of those guys everyone likes.  He is a very good player and great leader.

The man has been an all out warrior for this Giants team and does not deserve most of the negative criticism he has been receiving.   Yes, his flashy sack numbers and stunning run stuffing plays have diminished.

That does not mean Justin Tuck is done by any stretch.  While injuries and age wait for no man, Tuck can make a simple change to improve his game.

Pro Football Talk announced on Friday that No. 91 has been cleared by NFL to once again wear his “Darth Vadar” style face mask due to health conditions.

The report did not revel his injury; however, there is reason to believe he is “grandfathered” in from 2011 neck injury.  Our friend at Giants 101 reported that the NFL disallows any customized facemask that’s not of the standard size: a limit of four horizontal bars and three vertical bars.

“We’re just trying to give people not as much surface to be able to grab my face mask,” Tuck said last June.

The argument can be made that Justin Tuck’s face mask changes the way he see’s the game.   With the narrow visibility his Vadar mask produces, No. 91 is cutting down on his peripheral vision, which is a very important aspect to a players physical tools.

The definition of Peripheral vision: Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze. There is a broad set of non-central points in the field of view that is included in the notion of peripheral vision.

“Far peripheral” vision exists at the edges of the field of view, “mid-peripheral” vision exists in the middle of the field of view, and “near-peripheral”, sometimes referred to as “para-central” vision, exists adjacent to the center of gaze.

The loss of peripheral vision while retaining central vision is known as tunnel vision. So one could believe that Justin Tuck is operating inside a box on weekly basis.  While it might seem like a trivial point, the mask can impair site lines which is a vital edge to any football player especially a player relying heavily on edge rushing.

JJ Watt(3 bar mask), Jared Allen(3 bar mask) and Clay Mathews(3 bar mask) are wearing linebacker cages with plenty of sight lines. Demarcus Ware and Cameron Wake wear bigger cages but open(4 bar mask), while Von Miller and Osi Umenyiora(3 bar mask) don almost a wide receiver mask.

Change the mask and see the game!

Craig J. Santucci | Senior Editor Giants Rush


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