Giants legend Antonio Pierce promoted to DC at Arizona State
Antonio Pierce worked his way up from undrafted rookie to captain of a defense that stifled Tom Brady and the most prolific offense in NFL history in Super Bowl XLII. Now he is climbing the ladder again – in the coaching ranks.
This week, the former Giants linebacker was promoted to defensive coordinator at Arizona State University.
Pierce spent the 2020 season as the team's associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator, helping run the defense alongside former NFL head coach Marvin Lewis. Lewis will now take on a different role as special assistant to the head coach, leaving full responsibility of the defense to Pierce.
The legendary Giants defender first joined the Sun Devils in 2018, where he coached the linebackers for two seasons while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Prior to jumping to the college ranks, Pierce spent four years as the head coach of Long Beach Poly High School. This was the nine-year NFL veteran's first job in coaching after he spent several years as an NFL analyst for ESPN. He retired from the NFL following the 2009 season.
"I've said it before and it is worth saying again that Antonio Pierce has proven his worth as a person, as a football coach and as a leader of young men while on our staff at ASU," Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards said. "His pedigree and wealth of experience fits perfectly within our Pro Model and with how we do things in our program. I'm so proud of him and I think he is set up to be a Sun Devil for a long while."
Pierce adds the title of defensive coordinator while retaining his positions as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.
"I am looking forward to this new challenge and opportunity to be the Defensive Coordinator at Arizona State," Pierce said. "I have learned so much from Coach Lewis and Coach Edwards during my time here and can't wait to apply that knowledge in this new role. We are excited about the group that we have returning and can't wait to continue to bring in talented Sun Devils."
PFF's top edge defenders in 2021 NFL Draft
The 2021 NFL Draft is still over three months away, but it is never too early to start taking a look at some of the top prospects available in this year's draft class.
One position group the Giants may look to add to this offseason is their edge defenders.
While the free agent class of edge rushers is rather deep this year, there are several intriguing names that will be available in the draft.
Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo released his list of all of the top edge defenders available this offseason, but today we are focusing solely on the draft.
Here are Palazzolo's top nine edge defenders in this year's draft class:
- Kwity Paye, Michigan
- Gregory Rousseau, Miami
- Jayson Oweh, Penn State
- Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
- Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest
- Jaelan Phillips, Miami
- Payton Turner, Houston
- Joseph Ossai, Texas
- Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
View photos of Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye.
Photos: 2021 Senior Bowl participants
The 2021 Senior Bowl takes place on January 30 down in Mobile, Alabama.
Before the game kicks off next Saturday, get to know the players who have accepted an invite to this year's festivities in the gallery below.
View photos of players to accept an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl.