Antonio Pierce: My Interview Questions

James CifelliContributor IMay 19, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21:  Linebacker Antonio Pierce #58 of the New York Giants celebrates after a play against the Carolina Panthers on December 21, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

After a season marked by controversy and questions of his diminishing talent, 2009 is certainly a big season for the leader of the Giants' vaunted defense, Antonio Pierce.  

  • Antonio, you will be 31 this November.  You have two years left on the deal you signed in 2005. Do you think this is an important year for your future with the team?
  • With your former position coach, Bill Sheridan, moving into the coordinator role, do you see your responsibilities expanding this season, especially considering the arrival of two new LBs, Michael Boley and rookie Clint Sintim?
  • Let's talk about some of the new faces on defense.  We know that the D-line will have exceptional depth and talent, but how do you feel about the talents of the new LBs who will be flanking you this season? 
  • We hear a lot about Michael Boley's speed and versatility, especially in coverage.  Do you think that a strong cover LB is something the defense has been missing?
  • We know that Bill Sheridan will be working up in the booth this season.  Do you think that will prove less affective than Steve Spagnuolo's demonstrative sideline presence?  Will the defense lose some of its cohesion?
  • Coach Sheridan also has mentioned there will be some new wrinkles in the defense. Most notably, we can expect to see fewer D lineman dropping into coverage. This being said, do you think that Clint Sintim will be an effective pass rusher coming off the corner? He played the "elephant" in the 3-4 at UVA. Do you think he will make a quick transition to the Giants' D?
  • Will we see some more 3-4 looks from the D this year?
  • Antonio, there has be a lot of talk about your fitness and diminishing skills.  Have you noticed yourself wearing down late in the past two seasons? 
  • What about your coverage skills?  Pundits have suggested you've lost a step.  With Boley's addition to the defense, will your responsibilities in coverage change?
  • Let's shift gears.  Growing up in Compton and coming undrafted out of Arizona, you're no stranger to adversity. Do you think that your involvement in Plaxico Burress's legal issues affected your play down the stretch?
  • You were obviously tight with Burress and it seems he had the respect and favor of his teammates.  Do you think the team will miss his presence in the locker room?
  • Do you think this is a make-or-break year for Mike Stoops? 
  • With Michael Vick's impending release from federal prison, we recall the nature of his suspension and subsequent incarceration.  In 2007, you were also charged with an animal-related charge.  What was the nature of the charge?  Was there any validity to the charges?
  • What are your realistic goals for the Giants this season?
  • Coach Coughlin submitted "Never Satisfied" as last season's team mantra off the heels of 2007's Super Bowl campaign.  As one of the team leaders, what do you suggest for a theme for 2009?
  • You seem to be one of the more charismatic players in the league, but who would you say is your funniest teammate?