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Giants Sign Keith Bulluck


Free-agent linebacker Keith Bulluck officially joined the New York Giants on Saturday, after nailing a private workout Monday in the oppressive Meadowlands heat.

But he unofficially joined them in March in the cold Manhattan rain.

Coming off ACL surgery just seven months ago, with no team to supervise his recovery, Bulluck spent most of his spring rehabbing in New York. In the process, he fell back in love with the city of his youth — and agreed Saturday to an undisclosed contract with the Giants, making it the city of his immediate future.

“Just walking the streets of New York gave me my edge back,” said Bulluck, 33, a former Pro Bowl player who has spent his 10 NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans. “Some of those walks were tough, man. Like when it’s raining or sleeting or it’s just cold out. And your knee aches. I wasn’t 100 percent at the time. But the energy of it all helped me. Just the people, the good attitudes, the bad attitudes, just the whole vibe of the metropolitan area. If you’re from there or have ever been there, you definitely know what I’m talking about. I’d have to say this is a dream come true.”

A native of New City, New York — about 20 miles from the Meadowlands — Bulluck fills a huge need for the Giants, who released middle linebacker Antonio Pierce in February and were trying to replace him with Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn.

With nowhere else to go, he flew to New York on the final day of February.

“Well, New York — that’s where I’m from,” he said. “My second home. New York, that’s where I kind of get my football mentality from. You know the song, ‘If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.’ I consider myself a New Yorker. So, yeah, you’ve got to go back to where everything started. I was broke down. My body was broke down, so I had to get back to my roots. Go get back around my friends, my family, like the people I probably needed most at the time, and that’s where they all were — in New York.”

Through one of those friends, he hooked up with Gary Guerriero, a physical therapist/trainer/strength coach at the U.S. Athletic Training Center. Guerriero looked up Bulluck’s stats one day in April and saw that he’d been a Pro Bowl player in 2003, that he’d had 1,057 tackles over 10 Tennessee seasons. Guerrerio, a long-time New Yorker, immediately started campaigning for Bulluck to join the Giants.

As many as six teams wanted to bring Bulluck in for a look-see, but neither he nor his agent, Gary Wichard, saw any purpose in it. As part of his plan, he left New York at the start of May to work out with trainer Brett Fischer in Phoenix. Bulluck’s periodic training partners were Darrelle Revis, Vincent Jackson and his old Syracuse buddy, Donovan McNabb.

Around July 1, Fischer told Bulluck he was full-go.

Bulluck’s first team visit was July 19 at the Meadowlands. He showed up without a knee brace — a heartening sight just seven months after surgery — and the Giants staff led him through a series of linebacker drills in sweltering conditions. Head coach Tom Coughlin, a Syracuse alum himself, was one of Bulluck’s strongest advocates, but the club wanted to wait a day to see how Bulluck’s knee responded. When he woke up Tuesday without swelling, GM Jerry Reese offered him a contract and the starting middle linebacker job.

“I’m a New York dude — no way I can play anyplace else,” Bulluck said. “New York’s about toughness&the NFC East. That’s where I belong. …

“I felt like [the Titans] could’ve signed me at the beginning of last year or halfway through the season if they really wanted me. So they know what’s up. They’ve seen me play, practice, carry myself.

But they will see him fairly soon — the Giants host the Titans on Sept. 26.

“The game changes now that I’m in New York,” Bulluck said. “The game totally changes. I think that the energy that the city brings and the excitement and the fans that all the New York sports teams have will definitely help me out a lot. Just as far as stoking the fire that’s still burning. I’d love to help bring another championship to New York.

“I mean, it would’ve been great to end my career in Tennessee because that’s where I started. But it’s would be great to end my career in New York because that’s where it really all started.”

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9 Responses to “Giants Sign Keith Bulluck”

  1. Júlio César says:

    awesome! even if it’s just to play a backup role, great sign! i mean, sintim/boley were hurt last year, if that happens again, who would replace then?? blackburn/deossie/wilkinson??? geez, that would be scary!

  2. shai says:

    Great signing, instant leader on D. Julio, he’s starting.

  3. Jason C. says:

    Barring severe injury he will definitely be the starting MLB, what this does though is make the roster cuts really, really interesting. Are they stuck at 2 TE’s? 5 WR’s? Do they cut an OL? Does Bernard have ANY chance? Do late round draft picks and undrafted FA have any chance to make this roster? 3 safeties again? The questions are endless, but one things for sure, no way do they go with more than 2 QB’s so get used to seeing Mr. Sorgi with a clipboard.

    Well I for one love the signing, who opposes, I’d be interested in seeing the argument.

  4. shai says:

    No way we carry only 3 safeties when one of them is KP and his knee

  5. Cory says:

    Jerry offered him the starting position so thank god FINALLY all of our ?s about our linebackers, replacing AP, and anything else about a linebacker can finally stop.. cant wait til camp next week!!

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  7. Joe says:

    I think this signing made our defense a lot better. MLB was the biggest question and they got it filled with a great but old player. The only problem is why cut Peirce if we were going after another old lb. I’m sure we will still be fine.

  8. Shrimp says:

    I think they also liked signing him because, we will be playing the AFC South, which he has been in for 10 years.

  9. Willy says:

    This signing maybe better than Rolle. This guy is a monster, and wearing 53, he might be able to wear the mantle of Carson. He’s smart, down to earth, and a tremendous playmaker. If his knee is healthy, the Giants D might officially return to “scary” status. This is where Reese is a genius.

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