Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coughlin on AP

Here's Tom Coughlin on losing Pierce:

"Our concern is for AP and we're here to support him," Coughlin said through the Giants' PR department. "He is very disappointed and our thoughts are about his well-being right now.

"We won't have AP on the field, but we'll have his heart and his leadership on the sidelines to rally the troops. The other members of the defense have got to reach down and play harder, faster, better."

Pierce also put out a statement through Twitter that says more than anything about how disappointed he is. His season could be over, as well as his Giants career.

"Thanks for ya support," Pierce tweeted. "Sorry to let ya down."

Pierce is currently the Giants' leader with 51 tackles, one more than Terrell Thomas. He had a sack, two breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. But more than anything, he was the defense's leader, using his football smarts and a great study ethic to partially compensate for the speed he lost.

Bulging discs generally take a long time to settle down. He could be out for six weeks or longer, and if he decides on surgery, his season would certainly be over. Then, it becomes a matter of whether the Giants want to turn the page next year and go with younger, faster personnel. Pierce has one year left on his contract at $4.75 million. If the NFL's collective bargaining agreement lapses after the season, as is expected, 2010 would become an uncapped year, and the Giants might want to save that money for a free agent buy.

In other words, there's a very good chance Giants fans have seen the last of Pierce in the long run. In the short term, Chase Blackburn will probably take over at middle linebacker, providing a younger player than the 31-year-old Pierce, but hardly as savvy. If Blackburn needs to come out, Jonathan Goff would be the next option in the middle, as would strongside starter Danny Clark.



  1. Pierce done... maybe for the season, but possibly as a Giant? Sure didn't expect this, just as the rest of the active roster is getting back onto the field. Personally, from what I've seen so far I don't believe Chase Blackburn is a suitable substitute for what AP brought to the defense, especially against the Falcons on Sunday. I like Blackburn's intensity and motor, but that doesn't make up for quickness and athleticism. Their running attack dropped through the floor with a doubtful Michael Turner and backup Jerious Norwood questionable for Sunday's game. Ryan will be looking for Tony Gonzalez, and I don't see Chase as the best LB suiting up on Sunday who will consistently contribute to controlling him. Boley, Goff-Blackburn, Clark-Sintim.

  2. Did you just say "quickness"? We love AP's heart but physically he is not an elite player. Not saying this is a good thing, but at least we'll be forced to put players on the field that have to make plays vs. call plays.

  3. He's done. He wasn't the same player last year and the whole Plax fiasco just made it worse. Remember AP got a gift by not being brought up on charges. He removed evidence from a crime scene and transported it across state lines. He's been asking for the Giants to redo his contract for three years now and always the answer was "No". He was a great pickup from Washington. I'm glad he got his ring. He deserved it. But he just doesn't have the physical tools for the job anymore. I think AP should call it a career, become a LB coach, and work his way towards becoming a Defensive Coordinator. The guy "gets it" when it come to defense. It wouldn't shock me if he took over for Sheridan right now and did a better job. Giants fans owe him a debt of gratitude for years of solid service, but the game ends for every player eventually. Get well, AP, and thanks for the memories.