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Antonio Pierce may be Giants defensive coordinator candidate

by Moxieplay

In 2017, Brian Daboll was on the recruiting trail as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, and he traveled to California to pay a visit to Long Beach Polytechnic High School.

The quarterback there, Matt Corral, was a hot prospect, and Daboll met with the head coach at the school.

That head coach was Antonio Pierce, the former Giants’ Super Bowl-winning linebacker. Corral ended up going to Ole Miss.

“Got a lot of respect for A.P.,” Daboll said on Nov. 1. “I remember meeting with him down in his office, talking about Matt out in Cali and obviously know what he did here. I’ve built a friendship with him along the way the last few years.”

Lo and behold, there is a scenario that could work out that brings Daboll and Pierce together, and brings Pierce back to the team where he experienced his greatest NFL success.

Daboll needs a new defensive coordinator, with Wednesday’s official word that the team and Wink Martindale have “mutually agreed to part ways.”

Raiders coach Antonio Pierce could be a target to be the Giants' next defensive coordinator, if he doesn't get the Las Vegas job full time.

The Giants will be sure to check out Pierce’s status.

Pierce is looking for a bigger job, as he is currently under consideration to become the Raiders’ full-time head coach.

Four days after Daboll spoke about Pierce earlier this past season, the Raiders whipped the Giants, 30-6, in Pierce’s first game as the interim head coach, replacing fired Josh McDaniels.

The Raiders were 3-5 at the time of the firing and 9-16 overall under McDaniels. After Pierce took over, the Raiders went 5-4, and he gained approval and endorsements among the players on the roster.

Pierce, 45, is an attractive option, and it will be difficult for Raiders owner Mark Davis to pass him up, unless he can land a bigger fish, such as Bill Belichick or Jim Harbaugh.

Pierce also could be a candidate for other head-coach openings around the NFL if he does not remain in Las Vegas.

He maintains a strong relationship with the Giants and is well-respected in their building. Pierce has never been a defensive coordinator in the NFL — the only time he held that position was in 2020 and 2021 at Arizona State.

Pierce played just five seasons for the Giants before retiring after the 2009 season because of a lingering neck injury. He was the brains that ran Steve Spagnuolo’s defense and an inspirational leader during the 2007 season, when the Giants became road warriors in the playoffs then upset the previously unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

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