New York Giants' middle linebacker Antonio Pierce has always been a guy who has used perceived insults as motivation to prove people wrong. We all know -- and he does, too -- that there is plenty of doubt right now about what the eight-year veteran has left in the tank.
Maybe last season's struggles will be a blessing in disguise for AP and the Giants. Consider this from Mike Garafolo following Friday's OTA.
There's something different about Antonio Pierce's approach this off-season. What exactly it is, well, we're not quite certain yet.
"Just getting better. I'm going to be the old AP," the Giants' middle linebacker said Friday in his first session with reporters this off-season. "There's going to be a new-look AP. I'm just excited about it being a new year, new experience and a different guy."
Asked what's different physically, he replied, "I don't know. That's a conceited question. I don't look at myself in the mirror all the time."
Pierce is clearly more motivated after last year, when Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in a night club, injuring himself and derailing the Giants' season in the process. Pierce, who was with Burress and drove him to the hospital, has likely reflected on that situation and last season's collapse in an effort to motivate himself for 2009.
Here are some other stories of interest to Giants' fans.
- Coach Tom Coughlin held a press conference following the OTA. The full transcript is here. Here is a little bit of TC discussing -- what else? -- wide receivers.
- Thursday we talked about Fred Robbins' microfracture surgery. Coughlin won't confirm nor deny whether the Giants' other starting defensive tackle in 2008, Barry Cofield, also had microfracture surgery. Yikes! Maybe Jay Alford will get to do more than snap for place-kicking attempts in 2009.
- Garafolo has a full report from Friday's practice session. So does Vacchiano.
- Here's an interview Bob Papa did recently with Eli Manning for NFL Network.
- Apparently, a former New York Giant is trying to become an Ultimate Fighter. I'm thinking that probably our resident historian George won't even recognize the name.
- Ex-Giants coach Jim Fassel, now a head coach in the newly-formed UFL, says Michael Vick could play for him.
- ESPN's Cris Carter believes Brian Westbrook's ankle surgery is much more serious than the Philadelphia Eagles are letting on.
- Plaxico Burress is still trying to work out a deal that would enable him to play this season. Good luck with that, Plax!
Q: Your offense completed some long balls. Do you think that it is so spacious in here it will help practice?
A: There is no doubt. I told you, if I was playing defensive back, I think I could take the underneath stuff away and count on the wall behind me in the bubble to run guys into. The quarterback is not going to run a guy into the wall. I think it will. It is definitely going to help us, but not only from that standpoint, it is just the idea that as we go about our business, whether it is a DB or receiver or TE or runner, you can have an opportunity to work with them on some deep stuff. Which, really, quite frankly, even the ….. routes – the corner routes you were hesitant to do. So it is no excuse, it is just the fact that we have a better facility now. But one of the objectives is going to be to try to throw the ball down the field more. And that is one of the things that we are trying to get done.
Q: Eli said that you don’t necessarily have to have that one guy like a Plaxico or Amani to go to. Do feel the same way?
A: Yeah, I have a lot of very competent guys who can do multiple things and create the kind of flexibility that you do need. And when you have that kind of ability where you have different players accomplishing your objectives basically on a game to game basis, very good things, then I think you have the ability to spread the ball around; you have the ability to force the defense to have some multiple coverage worries. And if you have got those one or two guys that can win those one on one situations, you are going to cause some serious thought on the part of the defense in terms of their overall package.