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Antrel Rolle: New York Giants Need to Get “Nasty”

December 5th, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle is not happy. And why would he be? The veteran came out of the bye week claiming Big Blue needed to win all six of their remaining games, and following a 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night, they have already fallen short of that goal. No longer are they comfortable in their division and find themselves teetering on the brink of another late season collapse.

It's not too late to turn things around, however. Sure, they may be 1-3 in the second half after starting 6-2, but they still control their own destiny and have shown the ability to play at the highest possible level. But in order to do that, Rolle says they need to get a little angry; get a little "nasty" and have a "bit more dog" in them.

“I think we just need to get back to being a little nasty, having a nasty attitude,” Rolle said. “Don’t do anything that’s out of the line of football, but have a little nasty attitude, get a little bit more dog in us, and go out there and play the game. Play the game physical, play the game tough, play the game hard, and we’ll give hugs and kisses after the game. But while that game is going on, we respect no one. And that’s how the game of football needs to be played.”

It wasn't just the on-field nastiness that Rolle believes the team needs to adds; he also feels they need to subtract the relentless praise of their opponents – especially Robert Griffin III.

“Personally, that’s something myself, that’s not anything I’ve been too fond of,” Rolle added. “Do I respect my opponents? I respect them. You know, I’ll give credit when credit’s due. But I’m not gonna kiss anyone’s butt before the game. That’s something that I’m never, ever gonna do as long as I’m playing the game of football.”

From a six-game season to a four-game season, the Giants have now put themselves in a position where they do, in fact, have to win every single game from here on out or risk losing control of their own fate.

For Big Blue, the playoffs begin on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Robert Griffin III, Washington, Washington Redskins

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13 Responses to “Antrel Rolle: New York Giants Need to Get “Nasty””

  1.  Krow says:

    What’s to do with Justin Tuck?

    Not all that long ago he was Strahan’s bookend defensive end. Heir apparent. Destined for greatness. All Pro … team leader. He seemed the perfect inheritor of a long Giants tradition of superb, hard-nosed defense.

    That was then … this is now.

    Now he’s a listless player. More often than not he seems to just be going through the motions. He may be team captain, but he’s not an inspirational leader. He waxes on about his career … his life … possible early retirement … the folly of it all. His play is decidedly mediocre.

    Let’s face it … he hates his job.

    I’m not bashing him. He seems like a really smart, high character guy. A big part of two Superbowls. He doesn’t’ t owe us fans a thing. Hey, lots of people don’t like what they have to do to make a living. And he’s rich enough to walk away. But … BUT … it’s affecting the team.

    He’s got a year left on his contract. When it ends I think there’s a good chance he calls it a career. And that’s certainly his prerogative. If you don’t love playing football then it’s got to be a terrible drag taking that beating week after week.

    So … the question … do we really want to go through another year of him playing Hamlet? Should he be asked to retire after this season? Or maybe take a year off? What’s the solution? Because in his current mental state he’s not doing the Giants any favors.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      People need not look in the stat sheet for Tuck weekly. Save for two games this season (previous Redskins game being one of them), Tuck has played more consistent quality football than anyone else on that defense. No matter how many times I watch the tape, that doesn’t change.

      I’m literally shocked at how many fans haven’t seen it (the other beat writers have – and have written about it accordingly), but most fans flat out refuse to acknowledge it. Why?

      •  dremac82 says:

        Because he’s not recording sacks.

        •  Krow says:

          Or making big plays … and saying some pretty weird things.

          Maybe he suffers from expectations. We all expected him to be great …

      •  kinsho says:

        Same reason why players like Chase Blackburn are unduly hated upon: they don’t make the big flashy plays that catch the fans’ eye. A steady performance doesn’t get the same notice that big plays get. For example, look at Stevie Brown. Wonderful at reading where the ball’s going to go, but just JAG-like at fulfilling all of his responsibilities as a safety.

  2.  Krow says:

    Rolle is 100% right. There were times I doubted his ability. Not any more. He’s right and he echos what I (and others) have said about this team. They’re talented … obviously … but not nasty. And it’s time we got some of that.

  3.  G-MenFan says:

    One of my biggest beefs right now is this: what the hell happened to our Special Teams this year?

    Quinn’s tenure as Special Teams Coordinator is highlighted by a couple of brief weeks earlier this year when it looked like they may be a weapon, only to return to their old ways. No blocking at all on returns–penalties when they try. Since JPP’s partial block of that field goal in Dallas last year, has anyone gotten a single finger on a punt or FG attempt? Since the Eagles game have we had a decent return on a kickoff that wasn’t negated by a penalty?

    Another problem I have: At what cost Ramses Barden? This guy makes the squad (again) and doesn’t play. We cut Dan DePalma, lost David Douglas from the PS, Hixon is injured, Nicks is crippled, and Barden can’t find the field. Infuriating.

    •  BigBlueScorpion says:

      You know it’s bad when a rookie who doesn’t know the play book is starting over a veteran who does goes to show you how bad Barden really is

      •  kinsho says:

        Barden’s big game came as a result of the Panthers shifting all their DBs to cover Cruz while leaving his side of the field as bare as his skill set.

        He’ll be cut by next year.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I will not bother explaining again why I think Barden is useless, but I have to say that if any of you have paid attention on special teams he also does almost NOTHING there.

      This season I have been abused by a few who insisted I was dead wrong about Barden and about my fears regarding the loss of Mario Manningham. Remember that the next time one of those fellows in bashing you over the head for your opinions. The bellicosity of someone’s rants does not necessarily correlate with the wisdom behind them.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    A few things…..

    Dan, I think the issue with Tuck is that he is supposed to be THE “leader” on defense, Eli’s compatriot as the veteran leader of this team, and yet he has not been making big plays when needed and has been way too open about his ambivalence about his career. In addition, and in great contrast to Eli, who NEVER shows that adversity on the field is getting to him, Justin Tuck carries his feelings on the field too openly at times and that absolutely CAN affect the rest of the defense. I think he has been a big disappointment this season after finishing the last part of last season on a very high note.

    As for JPP, yeah, he’s been double-teamed constantly, and he gets frustrated. But he is also showing a lack of discipline and immaturity when he makes the exact same mistakes in regard to protecting the edge 3-4 times (and by times I mean games) this season in a desperate attempt to make plays when he is suckered by the offense NOT sending two blockers at him. He’s no longer a raw rookie. He has to do better. I would have to say that so far this has been a pretty mediocre season for him.

    I keep reading how well Linval Joseph is playing but if that’s the case why are teams able to run up the middle on the Giants so frequently? (For what it’s worth, I think Kuhn may be a significant factor in the middle of the line next season because he may have had very little NFL experience, but he was stout when in there).

    Having said all that, I think we all need to step back and remember that the Giants DO control their fate right now. They are a game ahead in the division and if they win three of the next four games they will almost certainly make the playoffs and quite likely have a pretty good seeding as the division champion. And each of these four games IS winnable, with only the Atlanta game looking like a very tough one to me.

    The Saints’ defense is pathetic. I don’t care how weak our O-line is, we should put up a lot of points against them if the game plan is any good at all. I think that’s especially true if we can run the ball at all (and I have to disagree with everyone in that I thought Bradshaw looked pretty good against the Skins and should shred the much weaker Saints’ front seven). And Brees can be hit this season now that he’s lost some of his great protectors. We’ll have to be ready for the Saints getting the ball to Sproles at the edges, but I think we can beat this team. We almost HAVE to beat them because this is the easiest of our next three games.

    The Ravens are the kind of good team that we match up well against. Ray Rice is terrific, but he is not the kind of “big” runner or great cutback runner who tends to give us trouble. And I don’t think their combination of Flacco and his receivers (I’m assuming Rolle will be covering Bolden most of the time) will do tons of damage against our secondary. Injuries have hurt their defense, and while Ray Lewis may get back on the field and give them an emotional lift, this is not the Ray Lewis of old and he may actually be a negative for their defense, which just lost one of their two remaining top players this week. The Ravens are, though, a tough, disciplined, team and will outplay and out-coach us if we aren’t ready for the challenge. I think this is a game that the Giants will have to “tough” their way through, and may need Eli to have a great game, but those are the kinds of things the Giants tend to do under pressure in this era.

    I’ve no idea about Atlanta, but I think they’re a lot better than most want to admit. They have balance and are tough to beat in that dome. We’ll have to play a game like we did against the Niners or the Pack to win this one. I’m not counting on it.

    And then there’s the Eagles. Yeah, I know, they have our number. Well, not this Eagles team if we are playing for our playoff lives. This Eagles team is a mess and we should wipe them off the field just as we did the Cowboys when we had to beat them in Week 17 last season. If we do not do that when it matters then we should all recognize this is not a team that deserves to be in the playoffs and it will have been that kind of season.

    So I see four winnable games, three of which I think are very winnable. If we get those three we’re in fine shape. There are LOTS of problems with this team, and I don’t at all like what I saw Monday, and I am very concerned about the team’s health at critical positions, but they are still in first place in the NFC East and control their fate. Win on Sunday and they will enter those final three weeks probably only having to win one of the next two games to get into the playoffs. I’d accept those odds. But it HAS to start with a win Sunday.

  5.  stuh says:

    Barden had that one good game earlier in the season and then he doesn’t see the field. Wilson all though he didn’t do anything in the Redskin game he was taken out for Lumpkin on pasing plays when Lumpkin was sent into the flat, can anyone explain the thinking on that. I **** about the coaching and they seem to have the same poroblems over and over. The one thing that can be said about the Coughlin era is that they keep it interesting and their teams have won 2 Super Bowls. However they are frustrating.

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