Sullivan doesn't mind sharing coaching duties

Linebackers coach Bill Sullivan is ecstatic that he has a ‘coach on the field' in middle linebacker Antonio Pierce. Here's what Sullivan had to say to TGI about AP and the acquisition of LaVar Arrington.

On adding Arrington to the LB mix: I'm super excited. In the short time he's been here, he's demonstrated that he can do anything he wants. Everybody has a perception that he's a dynamic pass rusher. And there's no doubt that we plan to utilize him in that role. But in the 14 OTAs we had, we taught him our pass coverages and he did a great job not only learning them but going out there and physically handling the coverages. You can't rush a guy every single down. You have to have some mix. I'm so excited to have him here. His talent is as good as anyone that puts the uniform on. He's a tremendous, big, fast athlete that can run and is very passionate about football. He's very physical and has had a great spring here. He's a giant athlete.

On Pierce's ability to run the defense: He really is like another coach on the field. I think about how much time we spend watching practice film. Of course there are times when he needs to be critiqued or corrected, but more often than not before the words can even come out of your mouth, he'll have already said exactly what you were going to. On the field, he is way, way, way above the norm as far as what the offense is going to do and his ability to anticipate presnap what the offense is going to do based on their sets, movements and splits. He's uncanny and obviously shares that information with the other defenders on the field before the ball is snapped. He literally is like another coach on the field.

On Carlos Emmons being the starting WLB: We present to our players that every job is up for grabs. But obviously Carlos went through the entire spring as the starting Will. Carlos had a great spring and he's played Will before. I think people in general are making too much of the whole Will/Sam thing. Those two positions are interchangeable. LaVar will be doing a lot of the same things we're going to ask Carlos to do and vice versa. Carlos had a really good spring and I think he's going to have a really good year. He's a good ‘off' linebacker – he's very instinctive and can find the ball on the runs. He's excellent in pass coverage and has great intuition out there. I think he's going to have a bang-up year.

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