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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Losing Pierce would be big for Giants

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Antonio Pierce might be going down along with Plaxico Burress. And you wonder why teams worry so much about character? In this case, even association could hurt the Giants twice.

As we told you earlier today, Pierce could be indicted on the same gun charges along with Burress, and if he has to miss time this season it would be a blow to the Giants' defense.

Pierce's play slipped down the stretch following the incident with Burress, most notably in the loss at home to the Eagles prior to the playoffs. But remains a key cog in that group. He calls the defenses, anticipates the snap and play well based on formation and tendency (this was such an underrated element of the Giants' Super Bowl win over the Patriots) and can play all three downs.

The backup likely would be Chase Blackburn, a nice player but not one you can do as much with. Plus, he has been hurt a lot in his career, too.

I remember talking to Danny Clark, who started last season at "Sam" linebacker and figures to do so again, and he was explaining how much Pierce means to the defense. He gets people lined up, maintains his energy through a game and through a season and does plenty of extra film work to help his teammates make plays.

Has Pierce's play slipped some? Yeah, I think it has. But he's not an easily replaceable player if legal trouble arises.

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