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New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Says Players are to Blame, not Coaches

November 14th, 2012 at 9:15 AM
By Dan Benton

After losing two straight games and falling to 6-4 on the season, the New York Giants have been facing a rather large amount of scrutiny and criticism. And, as it usually does, the vast majority of that has fallen on the shoulders of head coach Tom Coughlin, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. But while appearing on WFAN on Tuesday, safety Antrel Rolle said there's no justification for that as the players are the ones failing right now … not the coaches.

"Like I told the coaches Monday, it doesn't really matter how hard you guys are going to be on us because right now at this point obviously we need it because we're not doing the simple things that we're being taught to do as a defensive unit," Rolle said.

Rolle noted that many of their issues are correctable, and pointed out A.J. Green's 56-yard touchdown as an example. Although he would not specify a culprit (it was Stevie Brown, for what it's worth), Rolle admitted that it was a blown coverage and something completely avoidable.

Looking ahead, the veteran safety acknowledged that their schedule isn't favorable, especially considering the position they've put themselves in, but that the team will not shy away from it.

"I love going up against the best of the best each and every week. And our schedule upcoming, it's pretty brutal. It's a pretty brutal schedule, but it's nothing we can't handle. It's nothing that we can't handle as a team. It's nothing we haven't done before as a team so the way I look at it, man, bring them on," Rolle said.

There will be no backing into the playoffs this season. If the Giants are going to do it, they're going to have to do it the hard way. And that means fixing the little things immediately.

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell, Stevie Brown, Tom Coughlin

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27 Responses to “New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Says Players are to Blame, not Coaches”

  1.  Krow says:

    There’s plenty of blame … don’t fight over it.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    November 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    I want to go back to one of demo’s points that he made a bit earlier: the effect of regaining Kenny Phillips.

    Some of you will remember that for a few years I have made the points that safety is an increasingly important position in the NFL because of the advantages given the passing game now; that Kenny Phillips may be the best deep safety in the league; and that his absence (I’m pleasantly surprised by Brown but anyone who mistakes Stevie for an elite safety is absolutely nuts, and he is a HUGE downgrade from KP) forces the secondary to play off receivers because they are far more concerned about being beaten deep than when they know Mr. Phillips has their back. What does that do? It allows teams to convert an awful lot of third downs on short and intermediate patterns where the corners are forced to play off their man. Yes, Brown has played well, but last week was not the first time his coverage error cost them a touchdown. As much as I dislike Fewell’s scheme, I cannot blame him for fearing that opponents could blow off the top end of their defense so the corners HAD to play soft to protect against that.

    So KP’s return (and boy do I hope we’re actually going to see that) would not only allow us to bring more pressure. It would also allow the corners to play tighter and more aggressively look for the turnovers. The combination of those two factors could have this defense playing a LOT better down the stretch. It’s rare that the absence of ONE player can make so much difference, but in Phillips’ case I believe his presence significantly improves the entire defense.

    And just btw, the absence of a HEALTHY Hakeem Nicks did the same thing to the offense. It affected everything else. If this two week rest allows him to come back relatively healthy that, too, would make a big, big, difference.

    I don’t know what to expect over the last six games of the season, but I’m definitely not going to fall victim to doom-and-gloom because I see some reasons we should get much, much better just in time for the stretch run.

    •  Krow says:

      With all due respect, how do we determine that KP is the best safety in the NFL? I like Kenny … I’m glad he’s on the team. But this is assertion hard to back up.

      •  demo3356 says:

        I personally dont think he is the best, top 5 maybe but for the defense we run, he is invaluable. He is pretty unheralded because he doesn’t put up the numbers, but he is a pretty big deterrent to other teams passing game, particularly deep passing game

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Top “deep safety”. I would not rate him as the top safety. And I think he “may” be the top deep safety. There are 2-3 others who might qualify, but he is definitely among the elite back there.

    •  demo3356 says:

      KP’s return is huge, he is one of the most valuable players on our defense. Probably top 3 with JPP and Chris Canty. Brown has done a good job being around and making plays on the ball but he is nowhere the safety Phillips is. To answer Stoll, KP is fine, they just wanted to give him a couple of extra weeks to ensure he was good to go in the second half where we Will see the 3 top passing offenses in the NFL in GB, NO and Atl. Williams returning will be huge too. A back 7 with KP, Rolle, Brown, Webster, Prince, Boley and Williams wil be HUGE in those 3 games

    •  kujo says:

      Jim’s response to this was dead on–sure, KP will return, but how long will it take before he’s really “back?” Nicks, Canty, Prince and others have taken several weeks to round into form before really getting back into top physical and mental form. Phillips is an elite player when he’s “on,” but the growing pains for a defensive back that is “off” because they’re coming back from an injury are particularly scary. Let’s hope we can tread water while our cast of The Walking Dead gets back to themselves.

      •  kujo says:

        (BTW, if you aren’t watching The Walking Dead on AMC, you are missing out.)

      •  demo3356 says:

        I think he’ll be fine. Nicks came back long before he was right and Canty hadn’t played since February. Prince still hasn’t played 16 games so he’s still a rook in my book. KP should be at or very close to 100%. I believe that had our bye been 2 weeks ago he would have played last week or even vs Pittsburgh. I just think with the bye looming, 2 out of conf games on the docket and dates with NO, ATL and GB after the bye they felt it best to error on side of caution. Stevie Brown doing his best Ed Reed the last 5 games didn’t hurt either.

  3.  Krow says:

    … assertion is …

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Whether KP is the best, or just among the best, best deep safeties in the NFL doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is a terrific player, knows his assignments, and will make everyone in front of him more secure knowing he’s back there rather than Stevie Brown. I really love the way Brown played and think he earned his way into the three-safety look, but he ain’t Kenny Phillips.

    And my point really was that when you have a defense that is oriented so dramatically toward turnovers, it gets much harder when the corners almost HAVE to lay off their assignments and give the wide receivers some room to get back-shoulder catches, easy slants, and come-back routes. Those are the kinds of things that make getting off the field on third down very hard.

    The “back seven” of the defense has had a terrible season. Rolle, Amukamara and Boley have been very good. Brown has been up-and-down. The rest have been anywhere from poor to awful (Rivers is an exception but he hasn’t suited up enough to help). The front, while not playing all that well, have still been far-and-away the best part of the defense. The linebackers have generally neither stopped the run nor defended the pass. The secondary has been a complete mess. The scheme lays in shambles. They need Phillips back, Williams playing like he did toward the end of last season, Webster playing more physically and tightening up his coverage, Hosley anticipating a bit better, and Blackburn playing even better than he did down the stretch last season (Why not? The guy is not old so he SHOULD be improving each season).

    I’m laying odds that the defense will step up. And I think KP’s return will remain unappreciated but will be the fundamental change that makes the difference.

    •  kinsho says:

      I think the cornerbacks will improve once Kenny Philips is back in the mix. Webster’s been slowly coming along as well since his horrendous start against Dallas.

      The one area that I’m concerned about is the linebacker corps. These guys haven’t been defending the flat well against short passes, nor have they been able to stop opposing rushers from ripping off five to six yards per run on a consistent basis.

      I’ll be watching that group closely in our match against GB.

  5.  Levito says:

    It’s kinda hard to rate all of the “deep safeties” around the league since they don’t always show up in highlights. The one who does is probably the best in the history of the game: Ed Reed.

    For young FS, Earl Thomas is pretty impressive as well.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Emlen Tunnell and Ronnie Lott say hello.

      Agree about Earl Thomas. He’s a stud, but so in KP.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        so “is” KP

        •  Levito says:

          I’m not old enough to have seen Tunnell play, and was really young when Lott played, but I’ll take your word for it.

          And I’m definitely not taking away from KP, I’m a big fan. I just think there’s a couple of other FS out there who are also really good, and probably more I don’t know about because unless that FS is a total ball hawk, they don’t show up in the highlight reels a lot. I’m sure there are plenty of more-than-casual fans around the league who really don’t know who KP is.

  6.  TheCatch says:

    So is it true DD will be back on the field? I’m concerned for safety of my TV. It’s only two years old, a Samsung 42″. Never any trouble, great picture. Possibly if I remove all heavy objects from the room.

  7.  Anthony Beers says:

    For starters, Rolle is merely taking responsibility and saying the right things to the right people. In times of adversity the last thing any team needs is a controversy in the media when words get twisted around. (CoughTikiDaysCough)

    Kenny Phillips return to the team is added depth, and whether or not he’s 100% that’s supposed to be a good thing for coaching. But coaches handle the return of veterans is extremely important. For example, Ahmad Bradshaw and David Diehl are proven veterans and leaders of this team, but in my opinion, simply aren’t the best players on the field. I believe Andre Brown and Sean Locklear are more hungry for snaps and would give us better efforts. Bradshaw’s fumbilitis has not gone away, and he’s not hitting holes with as much gusto as Brown. And good lord Diehl has looked atrocious the past two weeks. Eli is getting hit every play. Thomas will be back with the team and add some depth to the secondary, but will he be ready to perform? These are tough decisions for coaches because when you sit a veteran you hurt their confidence and undermine their authority as leaders to the club. But personally I say, if there’s better talent those are the guys who should play!

    This bye week is coming at a good time, especially with the challenges the schedule has for us the next few weeks. Although I think this team will play well against teams like Atlanta, seeing as they always get geared up for the best competition and sort of lackadaisical against teams they should beat.

    The added drama is here, it’s crunch time. Rest during this upcoming bye and get ready for some do or die football. The NFC East will get tighter, seeing as it almost always does. Watch the Cowboys start creeping up on us, I don’t think anyone on the Giants isn’t expecting that to happen.

    Hang in there Big Blue nation. This team is better than it’s shown the past two weeks, but fortunately there’s plenty of time to turn things around. I still trust Coughlin, Eli, and the defensive unit as a whole.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    I see the value in KP now. In think about the last few games we gave up more big play TDs than we had with KP and I think it’s no accident. While there still might be some big plays KP helps stop some of those a lesson big gains to just that and not TDs.

    Still there’s value in Steve Brown. He clearly has a real nose for the football and I think he can be real effective in the Nickel LB role. I hesitate to say the Grant role because if Rolle is playing safety the Grant role is much different. I think the coaching staff needs to be creative in getting Brown on the field. From how the LBs have performed it shouldn’t be that hard.

  9.  TonyMW says:

    Pretty nice breakdown of our offensive drives against the Bengals:

    http://corner.bigblueinteractive.com/index.php?mode=2&thread=457983

    •  kinsho says:

      Can we get this link stickied somehow? This is a very good read.

      A couple things that I took away from this:

      1. Does Diehl really suck as badly as we all originally thought?
      2. Snee sucked for this game as well.
      3. David Wilson will not be used effectively unless they opt to have him in the backfield on passing downs.

      To be honest, I never really noticed Chris Snee in this game, but I do see quite a few people here mentioning that he wasn’t getting the job done at all. Hopefully, whatever’s troubling him will go away after the bye. We’ll need him in top form for Green Bay, especially if Diehl’s going to be his right-hand man.

      As for Diehl not being as bad as we thought…I noticed quite a few times that the article mentioned that some of the plays that we were quick to blame on Diehl’s poor blocking was probably more due to Bennett not picking up on his assignments. Hmm…I’ll have to rewatch game tape on this…

    •  fanfor55years says:

      That’s great stuff. The most interesting conclusion you can reach is that the execution on the right side of the line was awful but the coaches put them in pretty good position to do things and Eli was very good.

      Makes you realize even more that the special teams’ failures and defensive miscommunications were a HUGE factor in the Giants’ getting themselves into trouble (I’d love to know which moron of the gunners went OB on the punt coverage that eventually cost the Giants about 60 yards of field position) . Add in the Bradshaw fumble and one really poor decision by Eli and there you have it.

  10.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Ed Reed is the best safety to ever play the game. Ronnie Lott was amazing as well, but he was a converted CB. Ed Reed has done things that other safeties dreamed of doing. Kid hits like a brick and is a pure ball hawk.

    Makes you wonder how much this team will be willing to shell out for KP now since we realize his true value.

    you think he’s still gone? i was one that always said to pay the kid as he’s a vital piece for this teams future.

    •  Levito says:

      Considering he always misses a few games a season and has chronic knee issues, he might not get a huge offer anywhere. But then again, he’s won a SB and all it takes is one team to make an offer the Giants won’t match. Even if it’s close, a decent offer from Miami might be enough where he’s happy playing close to where he grew up.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Ask the many receivers he laid out if Ronnie Lott hit like a “converted corner”. The guy was the most physical safety to ever play the sport because his timed hits were almost always right on the money. I agree that Reed is great, but he still isn’t, at least IMO, as good as was Lott or Tunnell. Tunnell may have been, along with Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor, the greatest athletes to ever play in the NFL.

      I’ve said I pray that they find a way to keep KP. But if you ask me whether they will pay the going rate for an elite safety I’d have to say that I have my doubts. I’ll tell you this, though, I would let Webster and Bradshaw disappear long before I would refuse to pay Phillips. To me, the critical players on this team are Eli, Nicks, JPP, Cruz, Beatty (if what I’ve heard about him isn’t true), Joseph, Kiwanuka, Amukamara, and Phillips. That’s where I’d invest my money first. Very close behind would be Rolle. There are some young guys who could become critical but they don’t need to get paid yet. The players on my list should either be re-signed or extended at the earliest possible date.

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