Should Antonio Pierce be released or traded? Is that even a valid question? Today while searching for Giant information over the internet I stumbled across an article from Giants Insider. The Headline immediately caught my attention as it read “Reese must release Pierce”. I am in total disagreement with their opinion. I’ve read how Pierce is too fat, too slow, and how he doesn’t get any sacks. My reply to all these comments are Zach Thomas has always been in great shape and is a Speed Demon at Linebacker. Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis is a sack Machine especially during his MVP season. That season when they beat the Giants in the Super Bowl he had a whopping 3 ½ sacks. Can you believe that?
My point is Middle Linebackers don’t have to be bodybuilders, track stars, or sack machines to be productive. If you want a Linebacker who is 6’7”, 280 pounds of solid muscle, and runs a 4.2 40 go make one up in John Madden football. There, anything is possible. I once threw 58 touchdowns in one season with Eli Manning on All Madden.
In any case, Antonio Pierce has been the brains on the defensive side of the ball for Big Blue since he first appeared in a giant uniform in 2005. Since then, Pierce has also led the team in tackles. He has provided the defense with true leadership and guidance. Yeah he’s a little heavy and bald but, he still one of the leagues best at his position. For that reason, he must stay and retire as a Giant.
Pierce is a brilliant player and will one day make a fine NFL coach. He plays his position the way it was meant to be played. GM Jerry Reese doesn’t need to make any Middle Linebacker moves but, instead should look towards replacing an Outside Linebacker.
The only real reason why some people don’t want Pierce is not for his performance on the field but off of it. Pierce has been a consummate professional on the football field. Up until this season with the Plaxico Burress incident occurring, you never heard any negative publicity regarding Pierce.
On the other hand, think to yourself as if it were you. Would you not try to look out for your friend in a dire situation? If you say no, then I wouldn’t want to have you as my companion. Plaxico shot himself in the leg, he didn’t kill anyone. Pierce wasn’t trying to conceal a murder weapon. He attempted to help a friend in need. He is a true teammate and one that any person would be grateful to have. Pierce is a great player and teammate. What more could you want? So Giants Insider, don’t replace Pierce, replace your thoughts. -J.M.