Ex-Giant Tollefson announces retirement
BY RALPH VACCHIANO
Dave Tollefson, an energetic defensive end on both of the Giants’ most recent Super Bowl teams, announced his retirement on Friday, officially ending his seven-year NFL career.
The 31-year-old Tollefson wanted his retirement to come as a Giant, where he spent five seasons in the prime of his career.
“I wanted to make sure Tom (Coughlin) knew and the Maras and Tisches knew how much it meant to me,” Tollefson said in a statement released by the Giants. “They gave me the shot. If it wasn’t for what they did for me, who knows where I’d be now? I have three kids (including a third son, due in April) and a wife that I love. To be able to provide for them is something that I couldn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams as far as the way we live our lives.
“I’m indebted to coach and the Maras and the Tisches for doing that for me.”
Tollefson, who did not play in the NFL last season, finished his career with 10 ½ sacks – 10 of which came during his time with the Giants. His best season was 2011 when he had five sacks in 2011. He was also a valuable member of the Giants’ special teams.
Tollefson was a seventh-round pick of the Green Bay Packers out of Northwest Missouri State in 2006. He was cut by the Packers and later the Raiders that summer before eventually landing on the Giants’ practice squad.
During his time with the Giants, Tollefson was obviously influenced by Coughlin. In fact, he said “All of our watches and our clocks in our house are five minutes fast – even my wife’s.”
“I didn’t grow up with a dad, so I was lucky enough to have some men in my life that helped shaped me into the type of man that I am now,” Tollefson said. “To say that I was already grown up when Coach Coughlin got ahold of me is not quite right. The relationship that he and I had meant a lot to me, because I felt he was always honest with you, which I really liked. I always felt like he was a father figure and I really took to heart how he felt about the way I played football and the type of person I was.”