Antonio Pierce, 09.04.09

Q. Antonio how did the foot feel after your first game action in a while?

A. It felt good, I wish I could have gotten some more plays and gotten a chance to stay out there a little bit longer but the foot felt good and held up, ready to go for the season.

Q. Are you convinced that you won’t be limited at all. You will be able to go your usual full compliment of plays?

A. Yeah, I was ready to go the week before, the Jets game. The doctors and coaches were being cautious, thinking about the long run, they made the decision for me not to play.

Q. Which foot was it and what hurt?

A. I cannot give any details like that. That is a very costly fine if you know Coach Coughlin well. All I know is that I had a little pain in my foot and the doctors decided to hold me out for a little bit.

Q. All three guys you got in the offseason all missed time in training camp because of injuries. When do you think that those guys will be able to really participate and blend in?

A. Hopefully soon. The regular season has just started, the regular season is not going to wait for us. I know Canty is going to be very excited to get back, and hopefully we will have him back by Week One. Bernard has been getting reps for the last couple of weeks. Boley, once he comes off his suspension, he is going to be right in the mix. He has done a good job studying and preparing himself mentally. Now we need to get him out there physically and get used to going through the reps and going through the motions of our defense. I am not really concerned about it at all. Those guys are professionals, they know what’s expected of them and they know why we brought them in.

Q. Did those six plays last night with the first team defense kind of do anything in your mind to make you think this defense is more ready obviously after the week before when the defense did not perform very well?

A. You could look at it two ways. You could say that we didn’t go against the Patriots number ones and we weren’t out there very long. But, you could also look at, for those six plays, we got graded today and guys went over all their mistakes and missed assignments, for those six plays, we executed very well. I think they had two run plays, three yards or less. We had two sacks out of four passes and the guys executed the defense perfectly. From a mental standpoint and physically executing the defense the way it is supposed to be executed we did what we were supposed to do. The last preseason game you don’t play much and that was the first time that I got to be back in the action. All the linebackers were in there, but we just missed a couple of the defensive linemen. For the most part, the guys executed the defense and did exactly what was asked of them.

Q. Three years in a row now you guys are opening up against an NFC East rival. Does that ramp it up any more for the opener than say another team?

A. That is the best way you want to open a season, you want to get right into the mix. The good thing is that if you get off to a good start and get the victory, you are a foot ahead of everybody else. You are out there. The good thing about playing your division, than playing a non-divisional foe, is that you know the team. We know the Washington Redskins, we know the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Cowboys. With us playing the Redskins opening up, we are very familiar with them. We played them late last season, we played well against them. They have some new guys there, (Albert) Haynesworth and some guys that were rookies last year. I think it is going to be a very fun game for everybody to watch and enjoy.

Q. Not just one, you open up against the Redskins and then you get the Cowboys right after that. That has to be even better, if you are looking forward to that?

A. It is better, because look at the positive side of things. You can go out there and win both games and we go out there and play well and do what we need to do and win those games, we are 2-0, not only in the league, but in our division, which is most important. First thing we want to do every year is win our division, because that guarantees you a spot in the playoffs and your record will fall in place in terms of how you are seeded. If we can get off to a good start in our division, that is the number one key in our coaches’ eyes and our team’s eyes.

Q. What do you think of the competition at weakside linebacker? Obviously, for at least one week there is going to be someone besides Michael Boley there.

A. I think there has been competition for the last five years there. It is one of those things where you know what, the coaches are going to make that decision, I don’t know who it is going to be yet. This preseason we have seen all three guys that can play. Gerris (Wilkinson), Bryan Kehl and Chase (Blackburn) got a start last night. I thought Chase played well, I thought Gerris and Bryan have shown spurts, but you know what, the coaches are going to make the decision to put the guy in there that is going to give us the best chance to win. When Michael Boley gets here, we will figure out how we are going to use and how he is going to work best for our defense. The key thing about our team and how Coach Coughlin and Sheridan look at this team, whoever they think should be on the 53-man roster, however many players are on defense, those guys are all starters. If you dress up 18 or so defensive players, those guys have to be ready to start and play at any time. The good thing about our team is that those guys prepare that way so I don’t really see that as being a concern.

Q. Can you talk about the adjustment with the new defensive coordinator and where are you with that?

A. Personally, you want to know how he calls the game, how he sees the game. That will be the key for me. I will anticipate what he will call versus certain formations and certain sets, our personnel that will give me an advantage to prepare as I go into the week. I think for the team, it is just about getting used to his presence. He is going to snap on the defense, he is calling out and making corrections the way he sees fit for the defense that he is calling. With regards to all this talk about changing defensive coordinators, who we wish the best of luck to, he is not here anymore. We wanted a guy in house, we wanted to run the same type of defense and we have that. Now we have a guy in here, we need to look into his eyes, and set the tone every meeting, every practice, by the way he is, by the way he approaches it. And what we do is we feed off of that and we go out there and display that to the rest of the world.

Q. Who’s voice do you hear in your helmet radio? Is it the same as last year?

A. I don’t know if I am able to discuss that. I will let Coach Coughlin make that answer.

Q. Do you go into the season wondering about the defensive coordinator, about how he is going to be? Is it a question in your head, is it something you need to answer, is it a strength?

A. Let me tell you something about me personally. I have been in the league nine years, I have had seven defensive coordinators. I have been with the Giants for five years and I have had three defensive coordinators. Most of the guys on this team are the same guys I have been playing with for the last five years, so they are used to change. When you get a new defensive coordinator you go in and adapt to it. It is no different than when you get a new position coach, or new strength coach, or a new person that is your nutrionist, you just adapt to it. I think what Sheridan has done, he has done a great job, and he has put his foot down. How are we going to attack people. Again, when we are out there in full force and everybody is out there, you see exactly what we are capable of doing. You fix the little plays here and the little negatives here and you fix them. I don’t think there is much of a concern about worrying about a new coordinator. There is not much difference between what Spags ran and what Sheridan is going to run. There is a different approach, how they see the game and how they are going to call it. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. He can call offensive plays. We have to go out there on defense and we have to stop the guy from running the ball and catching the ball. Football is very easy, there is run and pass, and our job is to make sure they don’t score or get any yards.

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