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LB Antonio Pierce

Q:  What do you think you are going to see from Jeremy Shockey on the field?

A:  Just the same old Shockey we are used to seeing when he played with us.  Regardless of what happened in the front office, everybody with this team, but let me speak for myself, I enjoyed playing with Shockey.  It was fun.  It was always great to go up against him in practice.  I love the way he plays football.  He plays with the passion that I think you should play football with.  They are playing against us.  He is going to be riled up.  He is going to want to obviously prove a point that they made a mistake. But like I said, it is not Shockey versus the Giants; it is the Saints versus the Giants.

Q:  There are a lot of talented players on the teams you have played the past few weeks but the teams weren't nearly as good as the one you are going to play this week.  What are your thoughts on kind of a step up in class in what could be a real big NFC showdown?

A:  It is going to be a real big test for us.  Obviously we took care of business with the first five games.  Going there, the Saints are coming off a bye week; I know they are going to be well prepared.   They are a well coached team.  They are playing very well on offense and on defense.  So I think for our whole team, offense, defense, especially, is going to be one of obviously our biggest challenge so far.  I'm pretty sure we will have a good week of practice and we will be ready for them.

Q:  What has made your secondary so successful this season?

A:  They just love to compete.  Those guys compete every day in practice.  In meetings, they really challenge themselves.  And all during the game they do a good job as far as studying film and recognizing routes.  When we get in the game you can see those guys trying to play routes.  The one thing about our group is that they are young.  They have a lot of energy.  And they are all eager to prove themselves.  Corey Webster is probably one of the more elite cornerbacks in the National Football League that doesn't get recognition.  But Terrell Thomas, he is playing very well.  Michael Johnson has been working hard for three years ever since he came in as a rookie.  You look at all our corners, you look at how young they are, how aggressive they are towards the ball.  And that goes hand in hand with our rush. 

Q:  Are they good because the defensive line is good or is the defensive line good because the DBs are good?

A:  We are all good, we are like a chain.  We made the statement in Week One, we are like a chain, a strong chain.  All 11 pieces have to stick together.  It is not because of Justin Tuck and Osi there, they are playing well.  It is not because of Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas and the safeties that the D-line is playing well.  We all work together pretty well.  We have to give those guys time in coverage.  It all goes together.  You get the d-line after the quarterback and vise versa.  So it all works together.  And I think that is one thing about our team, you can't just isolate the D-line or the secondary ss far as a dominant defense.

Q:  Your defense played obviously three very strong games in a row against three offenses that were not a powerhouse in the league, certainly.  And so you went out and dominated them the way I'm sure you wanted to.  But there is there a  – I don't know if fear is the right word – but can a team almost get shocked a little bit when you play those kind of teams three straight games and then you step up in class to such an extent like you are going to be doing this week?

A:  No.  It's not our fault how bad the offenses were that we played.  It is not our fault what the Raiders did, or Kansas City or Tampa Bay.  The one thing our defense does, I think our team does a good job of is that we go out there and handle our business.   Obviously, like I said, it is one of our biggest challenges all year because the Saints have a great quarterback.  They have a lot of speed at running back, obviously Shockey at tight end, the receivers.  They are loaded, we know that.  I think they are very similar to teams in our division as far as skill level.  We are used to that.  We played the Cowboys, we played the Redskins.  So we have played some teams that are not playing that well.  For us, it is just about going out there and playing defense.  Obviously a big challenge for us and I'm sure our guys are going to step up.

Q:  Justin Tuck suggested when I asked him a question about JaMarcus Russell and the offense of the Raiders that you were picking up what they were going to do and you knew what was coming.  How did you know that?  What key were reading?

A:  Film studies.  It is no different from what I do every week.  I go out there and watch film throughout the week, in practice and during the game. If they don't change anything,   I just call out the plays.  I'm right – I am not going to say all the time – but at least 80 - 90% right.  Like I said, it is difficult when you play a team like this.  You are playing a great quarterback and a great coordinator who is their head coach in Sean Payton. They will make it difficult for us.

Q:  You go up against Ahmad in training camp and things like that.  Could you talk about what kind of a runner he has become?  We always think of him as sort of a scat back.  It seems like he has a little power to him, too.

A:  The little junk yard dog is what we call him.  I was telling the guys on the sideline that I would hate to play against him.  The way he has been running in the last few games, it looks like he is one of the best backs in the National Football League.  He is not a scat back at all.  He is a guy that brings power, he has speed.  He has got agility.  He has got everything I could want out of back.  He is great in pass protection.  Ahmad is turning into one of the more complete backs in the National Football League.  And obviously you saw that yesterday – him running the ball in on the goal line, and with the catching the screen on third and 24.  So whatever we ask Ahmad to do he does it.  And he is very hungry, he is very eager to go out there and make a name for himself.  And I think he will definitely make a name for himself.

Q:  Do you think people didn't expect how strong he is because of his size?

A:  All they have to do is watch film.  You watch film of him over the last two years, this guy has run over guys, he ran through them and ran the route and juked and everything.. More about what is in their heart and their determination.  If you watch Bradshaw, that is all you see.  You see a guy that hates to go on the ground – he does not want to be tackled.  If you have a runner like that with that mentality and the ability that he has, and it is difficult to tackle him.

Q:  Do you think there will be of lot of talking between you and Jeremy Shockey?

A:  I'm always going to talk to Shockey.  I talk in any game.  It doesn't matter if it is Shockey or the Raiders, it doesn't matter.  Shockey is going to talk trash; we are going to talk trash.  I played against him for three years and I played with him for three years.  So there is not a better, more competitive guy in the National Football League on offense than Jeremy Shockey.  Like I said, he has my respect.  He has the respect of our teammates and former teammates.  So it is going to be fun going against Shockey.  I'm pretty sure he will bring a lot of energy to the game.

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