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Antonio Pierce Claims New York Giants Appeared Passionless; Jets Now “Baddest Team” in New York

August 9th, 2011 at 11:12 AM
By Dan Benton

Former New York Giants linebacker and Super Bowl XLII champion Antonio Pierce made a pitstop at the Timex Performance Center last Wednesday, and stuck around to watch Big Blue’s first full-padded practice.

To say he came away unimpressed with the team would be a bit of an understatement.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (5) throws a forward pass under pressure from the New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce (58) during the second quarter of NFL football game action in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 1, 2009. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

“I didn’t get that training camp energy that I like from when I played and from being around training camps,” said Pierce. “I’m talking about the energy of, ‘Let’s go out and do this.’ Coach Coughlin talked about the steely-eyed focus. I didn’t feel that. There was just something missing.”

Perhaps Pierce attended the wrong practice, because by all indications, the players were wild on Monday night. They were hitting, they were trash talking and they were full of an energy that had apparently been lacking last Wednesday.

“You should be [angry] that the Eagles are proclaiming themselves to be the Super Bowl champions,” he said. “The Jets are now the baddest team in New York. If I was on that [Giants] team, I would be [angry]. Our hair would be on fire. It would be a different atmosphere. I thought I’d see more smoke coming out of their ears and off the top of their heads.”

He’d be so angry he’d be blowing an airhorn at the media and refusing to talk. At least that’s what I recall happening when he was still a member of the team.

Either way, what Pierce saw last Wednesday is not the same thing that the media and fans saw Monday night. They saw an angry, hungry, somewhat violent team ready to demolish anything that crosses their path. The defense is riled up and seem anxious to get out on the field for real, and that’s precisely what Tom Coughlin is looking for.

“Well, that’s an observation after just one practice, but I think we’ll get it,” Coughlin said prior to practice on Monday. “I think they’ll come around. I think we’ve got pretty good leadership, and I think our leadership will get better.”

My advice to Pierce? Visit Timex one more time and don’t go the way of Mr. Tiki Barber.

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