September 05, 2014

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) Justin Tuck spent his first nine years in the NFL with the New York Giants.

During that time, Tuck became known as a fierce pass rushing defensive end, getting 60 1/2 sacks. Tuck was an All-Pro twice and led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles.

But when the 31-year-old Tuck went into free agency in February, the Giants were content to let Tuck go. He signed a two-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.

It's a coincidence that Tuck's first game in his post-Giants career would be held at MetLife Stadium - also the home of the New York Jets.

It represents a homecoming - of sorts - for Tuck, who still has a family home in New Jersey.

''It's cool, but for me personally, it's not like we're playing the Giants,'' said Tuck, during a spirited 90-minute Raiders practice at Caven Point Cochrane Stadium.

''It's going to be exciting for me, going back to MetLife Stadium,'' said Tuck, who had 11 sacks and 63 tackles for the Giants last season. ''It is what it is. We're going to try to win our first game and we have to stop them. It's something different and I'm going to enjoy it.''

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said that he was ''very confident'' and he has inspired players to play and compete hard, despite having obstacles from the start.

''I still think we can take care of things,'' said Allen, who will have rookie quarterback Derek Carr starting against the Jets. ''We just have to go out and play well. We had a good practice today. The travel plans were a little different, but I wanted our guys to have a focus.''

Allen said that he had faith in Carr, the Raiders' second-round draft selection.

''I'm excited to watch him play,'' Allen said. ''The kid has come out there and worked hard. He's done a great job in his preparation and I am excited about him watching him go out there and play hard, while watching him to go get tacos in the mall. He just has to understand that there are 10 other guys in his side playing their lights out in playing the game.''

The key to the game may be Tuck, who at first last season looked as if he was slowing down, then he hit his defensive stride by collecting 11 sacks, the fourth time in his career he had reached double figures.

''I'm excited,'' Tuck said. ''I can understand why they have me here. I can be part of that rebuilding year.

''We can do a little something different and enjoy it.''

Allen hopes that Tuck's leadership that played a big role for the Giants reappears in the silver and black.

''I'm still here,'' Tuck said. ''Some other teams might have thought I was washed up, but the Raiders gave me a shot. I understand the business part. I'm doing something different and I'm enjoying it.''

NOTES: CB Chimdi Chekwa did not participate, so he's listed as out. LB Nick Roach, who suffered a concussion last week, has missed most of the workouts this week, so Roach is listed as questionable. K Sebastian Janikowski did practice and is probable after nursing a right quad injury. QB Matt Schaub has a right elbow contusion and he's probable. DE LaMarr Woodley missed practice and has not practiced all week. ... The Raiders plan to go through their walk through session Saturday morning on the field of St. Peter's Prep, New Jersey's top-rated high school football team.

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