Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Blackburn's Job Now

Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce has been placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with the bulging neck disc that showed up during an MRI the week before last.

That means, for now, at least, that the MLB spot will be handled permanently by Chase Blackburn, with Jonathan Goff probably coming in for several series per game. The announcement, while made just a few minutes ago, is not a surprise considering the expectation that Pierce would be out a minimum of six weeks anyway. It is likely now, however, that the 31-year-old Pierce has played his last game in a Giants uniform.

No surgery is planned yet to repair the disc. And the Giants have yet to make a move to fill his roster spot.



  1. Thanks Antonio. For Giant fans this comes as sad news. This year was perhaps not his or his teams best and I am sure it is difficult to go out this way. The guy played the game the right way, with a tremendous amout of passion, and he was a great leader. The man is a true professional.

    He was key in 07 and I think he will go down as one of the great LB in Giants history when his career is viewed in its entirety. I agree with Ernie, I think we have seen him for the last time in a Giants uniform.

    Sad day in G-land....

  2. Anonymous...I have to respectfully disagree. One of the greatest LB's in Giants history? No way. AP was a classic overachiever who made the best of his talent. A good LB...yes...a great one...not even close. Here are some that were clearly betterin Giants history:
    Sam Huff, Brad Van Pelt, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Jesse Armstead, Gary Reasons, Brian Kelly, oh and someone named Lawrence Taylor. I'm sure I overlooked a few but they come to mind immediately. He was also not the key to the '07 Defense. Michael Strahan was clearly the key to 2007.

  3. Mitch,

    I understand. As I said, in the fullness of time. I hold Strahan in the highest regard and he will be a HOFer in my opinion. Pierce is clearly not. I also agree with your list of great Giant LB's but I feel Antonio belongs on that list. Sure Strahan was key in 2007 but Antonio was the QB of that group remember.....

    It's clear AP is on his last legs and has slowed a step but you have to give him his due for a great career. Heck, In week two of this year (I think) against the Boys he was being showered with praise for his "Tahoe" call.

    I have a feeling we are all going to be missing him more than we know going down this stretch. I see no one on the current roster that will fill his shoes. Blackburn is a step down for sure and there is a reason Goff didn't step right in. I would loved to be proved wrong on this point but I can't see it.

  4. I'm hoping he's on the sideline assisting Sheridan who clearly looks like he is in over his head.

    We obviously have to "win out" to secure a playoff spot, and the way they are playing that becomes highly unlikely. I really would like to see, Sintim, Goff, & Wilkerson. Yes they are young, but what they lack in experience they make up in speed and enthusiasm. I know because he doesn't play "specials" is the reason that barden hasn't been active, but a guy who 6'6" and knows how to run a fade would help with our red zone as well. I'll never give up on my team, but they are really running out of time.

  5. Good Point,

    I think AP would be an excellent coach in some capacity. However, I think he tries to play again next season somewhere.

    I agree that the chances of turning around this season are slim to nil given there performance and personel. I'm all for playing more Sintim. From what I've seen of Wilkerson, I'm not convinced. However, we will definately see more Goff as the G-Men have to figure out what they have there.

    If they lose one of the next two games, you will see Barden down the stretch. At this crtical juncture I don't see TC rolling the dice with the receiving core. Nicks is getting the time he needs and he is clearly a big part of the future. I guess the question is who do you take reps away from to give Barden his chance. Manningham, Smith, Nicks????

  6. Manningham, Smith and Nicks don't lose playing time with Barden. You stick Barden in on red zone plays at first and see how he handles a few jump balls in the end zone.

    The only WRs that should be inconvenienced by Barden are Hixon and Hagan.

    This Pierce situation Sucks....big time.

    If we lose to Dallas, I say just start Goff the rest of the year. Trial by fire.

  7. gggg,

    Fair enough. But Hixon is our return guy. Can't inactivate him. Hagen is our best Special Teams coverage guy. That's a big loss for that group.

    Here is the thing. It isn't going to happen for the next two games. If they lose them both, then we will see plenty of Barden. If they win the next two games you won't see him at all.

  8. First on Pierce,

    He was a real good Giant. He's not going to go down as one of the greatest linebackers, but he does have a Super Bowl ring and he was a major part of that team. Remember that Green Bay game? He made one of the best defensive plays I've ever seen - and that includes LT. The Packers had a screen called at the perfect time. There's only one Giant in the vicinity - Pierce. But there's three linemen and the runner. Pierce gets through them all and stops the RB for minimal gain. It was a great play, one I will never forget.

    And I guess you can activate Barden over hagen, but I don't think that makes to big a difference. If anything start Goff and Sintim at linebackers because they could/should be starting next year. I actually like the receivers with Nicks, Smith and Manningham.

  9. You wont be seeing much of Wilkinson anyway -- IR this year and FA next year

  10. Right...forgot Wilkinson was IR'd.

    There are too many things wrong with this team to be able to change it for the better these next two weeks. They have an aging OL and Diehl is really out of position. He is a Guard. They need to replace both tackles and Seubert has clearly regressed. You cannot run on his side anymore. Brandon Jacobs is not right, he used to give out punishment...he now is on the receiving end. (never learned to run with his pads down & has taken too many hits) The DL particularly the DT's have been awful. They can't stop the run and never get any QB pressure up the middle therefore negating the pressure the DE's bring. The LB's are slow & old. The DB play has been abysmal. The OC & DC need to be replaced. that enough for us? I'm depressed once again.