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New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle: “Just Want to Apologize for a Letdown”

January 2nd, 2013 at 4:20 PM
By Paul Tierney

Talent. It's what makes the NFL go 'round. Every team wants it, not every team has it, and even some who are fortunate enough to acquire it still find a way to fall flat on their face. Talent is one of many words that can be used to describe the 2012 New York Giants, and it is also what gave fans hope heading into the season that this team would be different.

'Antrel Rolle' photo (c) 2012, Ted Kerwin - license:

Maybe they would finally be able to break out of their shell, play with consistency and become perennial title contenders. Maybe Eli Manning would take another step towards solidifying a place in Canton. Maybe Jason Pierre-Paul would emerge as the next Lawrence Taylor and maybe this team could repeat as Super Bowl champions.

None of those "maybe's" came to fruition this year. Today, safety Antrel Rolle apologized on behalf of his teammates for the colossal failure that was the 2012 season.

"Just want to apologize for a letdown," Rolle said on WFAN. "Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short this year. Something that pretty much caught all of us by surprise."

Rolle was the leader of a secondary that ranked 28th in the league in yards given up through the air. It's hard to pin the blame on any one player, because there were breakdowns throughout the entire unit. The pass rush was non-existent, Corey Webster was atrocious and Kenny Phillips missed over half the season with a knee injury. This unit was rarely, if ever, at full strength and there was not enough depth to account for any shortcomings.

However, in the NFL, there are very few teams who can say they played the majority of their games at full strength. The physically demanding nature of the game makes injury a daily issue with every team. The Giants can't use that as an excuse for their shortcomings on defense this season, nor can they rely on a magical resurgence at the end of the season to carry them into the playoffs again. We saw that strategy fail this year, and it's imperative that this team gets its act together over the offseason.

"We have to attack the game, and we just didn’t do a great job of doing that on a consistent basis," Rolle said. "We’ve had the same defensive coordinator now for three years. You’ve seen us at our very best, and then you’ve also seen us at our worst. So it’s all a matter of what are we going to go out there and do that day? How are we going to go out there and perform? Are we going to be hungry? Are we going to go out there and play with heart? Are we going to go out there and play like wild dogs? That’s the question that’s still up in the air, why were not able to do that on a consistent basis."

For the time being, the New York Giants are still the defending Super Bowl champions. However, as we prepare to watch 12 other teams compete for the right to hold that distinction into next season, the Giants have some soul searching to do.

Mainly, what does this team want to be remembered as? An overachieving group who were incapable of consistently competing with the best the NFL had or offer, or as one of the great dynasties in NFL history. The players on this roster have the talent to to fit either description and 2013 will go a long way into determining their legacy.


Tags: Corey Webster, Eli Manning, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kenny Phillips, Lawrence Taylor, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl

34 Responses to “New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle: “Just Want to Apologize for a Letdown””

  1.  kinsho says:

    Why isn’t Antrel Rolle not yet the defensive captain?

  2.  kinsho says:

    ‘ Are we going to be hungry? Are we going to go out there and play with heart? Are we going to go out there and play like wild dogs? That’s the question that’s still up in the air, why were not able to do that on a consistent basis.’

    Bingo. Winning the Super Bowl is very good at sating that hunger you need in order to win in this league.

  3.  GOAT56 says:


    GOAT56 says:
    January 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM
    Francesa just said he things the major issue with us this year was lack on hunger. I think he’s right. It explains a lot of what happened. Francesa also called us a front running team this year. Again he’s right. We didn’t have any games we faught back except versus TB and Was. Basically, once we were down we didn’t come back but when we started well we basically rolled or at least won except the Pitt game. It seems like we were missing the fire.

    I still think talent wise this was a better team than last year but we didn’t have the same hunger. Maybe surprisingly starting with Eli. This was the first year in his career that Eli was not questioned going into the year. Eli like the team as a whole might be fueled by all of the “poor Eli” doubt. Next year he will have plenty of doubt. He won’t even be considered the best QB in the division by most. Was 2011 just a “lucky” year? Will be the question. Eli will have a lot to prove as will our young stars like JPP and Nicks among others.

    JimStoll says:
    January 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM
    I don’t buy it
    we are always just a tad better than .500
    6 of Coughlin’s 9 years here says so
    that is one reason why no one not wearing Giants Sunglasses (or Deon Sanders) thinks Eli is elite. If he’s so darn elite, why are his teams always .500.
    the question isn’t whether we had the hunger this year, but rather how did we find the magic in ’07 & ’09?

    JimStoll says:
    January 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM
    ’11 not ’09

    Hanshi says:
    January 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM
    I try to go to one away game each season and I can tell you that the opposing teams fan think Eli IS Elite.

    GOAT56 says:
    January 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM
    I think this is the best roster we have had in this run. You could see that in our few great performances that were on par with any the last 5 years in dominating top teams. I think the 2008 team was less talented but more hungry because everyone called us lucky. After the second SB we got a lot more credit, especially player and coach wise.

    I think until 2007 we just weren’t good enough. In 2007 we were good enough, came together at the end of the year and won. In 2008 we were good enough but suffer the loss of plax and were banged up at the end of the year so we got upset. In 2009, we had enough if were for fortunate health wise in a few key areas but we weren’t. KP loss that year was the biggest loss besides maybe Plax we have suffered in the last 5 years. In 2010, we were talented enough and played well but then the collapse vs the Eagles cost us the #2 seed and mentally cost us any chance vs GB to make the playoffs. In 2011 we won again by coming together late in the year and having a poor division that allowed us to sneak in at 9-7 with a 3-3 division record. In 2012, we saw the most inconsistent play we have seen under TC. We never had a comeback win after week 2 (you can count Was #1 but to me that was just a back and forth game). Even with our start there was still something missing. I think hunger is it. Not to say we didn’t have any hunger but the NFL is such a small margin that just a minimal drop in hunger can make a huge difference.

    •  JimStoll says:

      I hear the perspective, but I think it is more than not getting up for games
      I don’t know exactly what it is
      what we all could see was that Eli was pretty bad this year, even reverting in the Cincy game to super-silly interceptions
      the o-line was atrocious
      the coaches refused to use Andre Brown enough when he was healthy, then he got hurt
      Randal turned out to be much more of a developmental project than JR had hoped, and no one else stepped up as the 3d WR
      Nicks was hurt and a non-factor after week 2; most teams figured out how to cover Cruz in Nicks’ absence most of the time
      we played the entire season with 1 TE, and he was hurt after week 4
      defensively we were so bad so much of the time it is hard to know whether it was scheme, talent, injuries, or all 3 in equal measures
      but I can’t escape the fact that we seem to have this same discussion every year, as we are just about the same record every year
      there is always an excuse why this very talented team doesn’t make the playoffs or gets the one and done treatment
      thats why, despite the ed lightening strike, I still look at ’07 and ’11 as the exception, not the rule
      after all, we have missed the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 seasons, whilst our roster keeps getting allegedly more talented
      Great coaches are usually the product of great players; occasionally they get more out of their players than their talent suggests
      I’ve always felt that in his 9 years at the helm, Coughlin has done less with more; and rarely against the team to play above its collective talent
      we believe we have one of the top 5 QBs in the league and yet we are forever .500
      we think we have the best DE in the league (JPP) and yet we are forever .500
      we believe our duo of WRs is unparalleled, and yet we remain .500
      we look at our safeties, and think no other club can field the trio we do, and again we are a .500 club
      somewhere along the line something has to be lacking at the top when there can be so much talent and so little results year-to-year
      it’s one thing not to win it all, it is another to not even get to the dance or, if invited, to be kicked out at the first opportunity
      I continue to believe that people allow the two incredibly magical supe runs to cloud their perspective when evaluating this coaching staff
      and until the staff is turned over, I think it very likely that we will continue to see the same type of results — a tad better than .500 in the regular season; an uncertain entry into the tourney; and then a coin flip playoff run

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think many talented teams in the NFL have similar issue. The difference is we have actually won twice. But look at anually talented teams in Philly and SD about to start over with 1 SB between them. While there is NE, Peyton, Bmore and maybe now GB and Atl. But most teams are up and down. Even Brees has had quite a few struggles posting consistent records, same with Pitt. Atl and Bmore have yet to win during our run (since 2007). While the combination of Brady, Peyton, Brees and Rodgers have a combined 2 SBs – over the same time spand. The fact is that except for last year all have been better regular season QBs than Eli and you could argue that Ryan has been as good. I think posting consistent regular season records starts with consistent very good to great QB play and Eli save for 2011 hasn’t consistently done that. Add to that we have probably been as poor on defense stats wise over a 5 year stretch that I can remember. And horrible the last 2 years save for a handful of games.

        Look at the players you named and none of them played up to snuff. Our QB, WRs or DL. And add our expected best CB. I think other than Nicks and maybe Tuck it was hunger from those players that was missing this year. JPP was maybe the clearest example of not realizing how hard it would be to post a repeat season. This year was probably good for him in terms of his long term development.

  4.  GOAT56 says:


    I see some are hoping for a fairly significant free agent signing at RT. I just don’t see it happening. Even getting rid of Diehl’s contract the investment in the OL will go up with new contracts for Beatty and Boothe. That doesn’t leave much room when we are already paying good money for Bass and Snee. I think Brewer like Beatty 2 years ago will basically be given the job if they believe he can do it. Also a minor free agent like Lockear (maybe Lockear himself) will likely be signed as a backup swing tackle. The hope for OL improvement is that now these guys are finally use to playing together save for the RT and hopefully the long offseason helps Bass and especially Snee to heal so they can be better in 2012. The young guys will be gromed for key backup roles next year and possible starters in 2014.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      This is the time of the season when fans whose teams did not make the playoffs throw out wishlists. It’s not necessarily a prediction or even speculation. Just putting pieces together hypothetically.

  5.  Valid says:

    Are people here really still questioning whether Eli is elite? I mean, are we truly that dense? Not so surprising who the main culprit is, though.

    •  James Stoll says:

      Not that I care, but you obviously misread or chose to mischaracterize what I wrote
      My attack was not on eli

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think Eli is an elite QB. But he didn’t play like an elite QB this year. Nor has he been as good in the regular season as Peyton, Brady, Brees or Rodgers. Does that mean I want any of them as my QB instead of Eli? No. But I do think that is part of why our regular season record isn’t 10-12 wins per year is Eli isn’t as good in the regular season. But I think Eli being able to raise his game better than those QBs is why we have 2 SBs over 5 years and those QBs combined have 2 SBs in the same span.

      The best sports comparison though Eli hasn’t won as much is Tim Duncan. He’s plain and puts up good regular season numbers but his real greatness is in the playoffs when he has raised his game maybe more than any other great player in that sport but maybe not is as good in just the normal regular season game as some others.

  6.  BBWC says:

    End of year power rankings:

    15. New York Giants (9-7, Previous: 17)
    Offense: 4
    Defense: 1.5
    Special Teams: 4.5
    Quarterback: 4
    Coaching: 2.5
    Total Points: 16.5

    Overall: Why did the Giants miss the playoffs? Their defense was putrid. They finished 31st in total defense.

  7.  kujo says:

    Victor Cruz remains positive that he will receive a new deal from the New York Giants.

    But the wide receiver said during his weekly spot on WFAN that both sides opted to put contract talks aside during the season after “agreeing to disagree.”

    “It got tabled for a couple weeks, mainly because of the two sides agreeing to disagree at the same time,” Cruz said. “So it had been tabled for a couple weeks, but now that the season’s over and the statistics are what they are, I think we’re going to get back and pick up the pen again and see what we can do.”

    Cruz had said earlier in the season that parameters of an extension were in place. But neither side could come to an agreement on an extension.

    Cruz finished the season with 86 receptions for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns and is heading to the Pro Bowl. He will be a restricted free agent in 2013 but remains positive about a long-term deal.

    “Obviously, you never know, it’s all negotiations, but I feel positive that I’m gonna be in New York for a very long time,” he said. “And I feel positive that myself and my agents will get something done with the management of the Giants.

    “I feel comfortable where we’re at,” Cruz added. “I think I’ve done enough to show them I’m a good guy on and off the field, and that I’ve done everything positive up until this point to prove that I’m somebody that the organization will want to keep around for a long time. I’m positive things will come around and a positive outcome will come out of all this.”

    •  Dirt says:

      I think son wants to be here. I think he’s the same player he was last year, he just had more defensive attention. And those words are spoken by a man convincing a team that he belongs, not threatening for more money. I think Reese has the leverage here. Not much, but he’s got the hand.

  8.  Dirt says:

    LOL at the all day gospel that was “Hixon is a good/above average returner” and “Tynes is a good kicker” and “Bradshaw is a leader” Since no one wants to use actual statistics, I’ll do so for you, starting with Hixon. Who, you know, hasn’t been a returner really since about 4 years ago and before 2 reconstructive surgeries.

    In 2012, he averaged 7.2 per punt. Would have been #28 in the league among players who qualified. Which he didn’t, because he wasn’t given the job. Because he’s not above average. And hasn’t been since 2009. I guess with that logic Michael Strahan *is* a good DE as well.

    How about Larry Tynes. All those in favor acknowledge the pitiful strength but claim he’s accurate inside 45. Ha! So all those long attempts must have landed him at 19th in FG% in the league in 2012? Wrong. Even if you ignore all the 50+, he’s an 88.9% kicker, which would have been tied for 12th. But we don’t ignore 50+, because they count on the scoreboard and he’s paid to make them when asked to do so. But for fun, let’s ignore them in other years too:

    2011: 79% (23rd), 85% inside 50 would have been 14th
    2010: 83% (18th), 85% inside 50 would have been 13th
    2009: 84% (14th), inside 50 not available on PFR
    2008: 92% (4th) – WHOA! Oh wait that was the year John Carney kicked in those same swirling winds for us, which you were thinking about using as an excuse (coincidentally also was our most dominant season in a quarter century)
    2007: 85% (17th), 85% inside 50 would have been the same 17th

    As someone pointed out, so what, he kicked a 35 yarder in the NFCC last year – that’s his job. He also needed 3 shots to put down GB in 2007. And has been a whole lot of mediocre in between (short kicks notwithstanding).

    And then there’s the firey Bradshaw, the quintessential emotional leader of a defending champion who failed to qualify for post season play having been roundly accused (and admittedly so by their own players) as being complacent and not hungry. Yes, quite the risk of losing his leadership. Reliable from a health standpoint too.


    This is the best post of the day, re KP:

    demo3356 says:
    January 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM
    agreed 100%! If the answer is A- the guy who played 31-32 games I would franchise him and work out a long term deal. Then I would cut Diehl and Bradshaw to pay for it.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      So if we look at only statistics, the Giants win how many Super Bowls? None.

      Statistics are a good way of measuring the general ability of a player/unit/team. But in the end, they don’t mean sh**t.

      What is the percentage of extra point attempts made? And what is the percentage of extra points made by the Cowboys, in the playoffs, with Tony Romo holding?

      What percentage of passes does Wes Welker catch? What percentage does he catch on the final drive in a Super Bowl?

      What percentage of punt returns are fumbled? What percentage of punt returns are fumbled by the 49ers in the playoffs in overtime?

      I don’t give 2 liquid craps in a wicker hand-basket what your statistics say because there’s no statistic for balls.

      •  kujo says:

        “I don’t give 2 liquid craps in a wicker hand-basket what your statistics say because there’s no statistic for balls.”

        A) This is clearly the funniest thing ever written on Giants 101

        B) I have 2 balls. That’s a statistical certainty.

      •  Dirt says:

        Congrats. The Cowboys have the same PAT % in the playoffs as the Giants with Romo holding, 100%. Care to name a PAT they missed? Or, more importantly, since I’m talking about kickers and not holders, which kicker missed a PAT attempt?

        Outside of your incorrect recollection of the facts of the 2006 playoffs, you can ignore bottom half FG percentage year after year after year. And you can ignore the sequence of miss, miss, make to get to XLII. That’s fine. Your perogative. The guys misses kicks at a higher rate than many others. Fact.

        I won’t do anything else to convince you that perhaps all 53 players on a championship team aren’t above average. And like such Giant Super Bowl legends as Kawika Mitchell, Kevin Boss, Gibril Wilson and Brandon Jacobs, he, too, is far from irreplacable. And if they could save some cash and sign another average kicker (and thus get average results like they’ve had every year he’s been here) AND have a better chance to sign a true contributor like KP or WB, that’s a tradeoff you gotta make every damn day.

        •  kujo says:

          Not sure that I agree with your whole supposition here, but I certainly agree that doing what is necessary to solidify the core–Cruz, Nicks, Beatty, JPP– in the next 18 months is absolutely paramount. Everyone not named Eli is up for a paycut or a pink slip in the pursuit of that truism.

        •  Dirt says:

          One last ironic comment, based on your ridiculous use of a Romo bobbled FG spot to support Tynes lower-half average:

          TYNES missed a 23-yard field goal in those same playoffs for the Chiefs. Indoors. Mr Clutch himself.

        •  G-MenFan says:

          Okay, you’re right. It wasn’t an extra point. It was a field goal from the 2 yard line or something.

          My point is not that Lawrence Tynes is a great kicker and that the Giants shouldn’t upgrade if possible. And I’m not saying that Dominic Hixon is a great receiver. I just don’t like to see clutch plays that contribute to championships ignored. David Tyree was in the same position that Tynes is in right now. I’d like to think that Jerry Reese will do what’s best for the team just like you.

          •  kujo says:

            He is NOT a great kicker, but he is far better than Dirt is giving him credit for. Could it be time to explore a younger, cheaper upgrade if there was one to be found? Sure. But let’s not book his ticket to Canton or anything. He’s fine, and relatively dependable from a sensible distance. Nothing more, nothing less.

            •  Dirt says:

              His best season here was only good for 14th in the league! He’s not even erratic with a long leg as a savior – he’s just erratic! Tyree made a miracle catch that goes down in Giants lore just like Tynes’ 3rd GW attempts against GB, but they’re still both scrubs! I feel like I’m being forcefed homer pills!

              •  Dirt says:

                Clutch, defined (allegedly): 81.5% playoff FG %

              •  GOAT56 says:

                A kicker is maybe the most mental position in sports. While I think that stats analysis is more than more to point out he hasn’t been as consistent as some thought it’s wrong to overlook that he has made some big kicks and missed very few clutch kicks. Look no further than Cundiff last year for Bmore. He was all you want in a kicker hitting all the short FGs, hitting most of the long ones and great on kick offs. But he missed the one kick he had to make. What posters here are saying while he isn’t great (maybe average) he’s clutch. Kind of Derrick Fisher like.

                I do think we could use can upgrade that allows the offense to get cheap points and more consistency on kickoffs but it’s a risk because even a better kicker might not come through in the clutch. I think the right thing to do is to bring in a young kicker and give him a real chance to win the job.

                For all the slack some (me included) give Tynes about missing the possible game winning FG in GB to be fair the conditions were horrible. That FG he made to win was more amazing than the FG miss was bad.

  9.  Dirt says:

    Oh, and even if signs somewhere else, Martellus Bennet will go down as my favorite Giants personality of all time, no doubt.

    •  Barbarossa says:

      No kidding, but honestly he should be here next year, he obviously really wants to be and he equally obviously fills a big need for us.

    •  kujo says:


      Sincerely hoping he gets a 3-4 year deal with us, and that he follows up his very good season with an even better one next year.

  10.  Barbarossa says:

    I forgive you Antrel. If there was one vet on the defense who wasn’t fat and happy after their Superbowl win last season and who consistently showed up ready to ball every Sunday, it was you. You may not be the most talented player on the defense, and you may be a bit of a loudmouth sometimes, but all the fans appreciate your passion for the game. I appreciate someone who gets paid big bucks to play a game for a living, and at least has the decency to act more excited about his job than my garbage man. You were not part of the problem this year, you tried hard to be part of a solution.

    P.S. F*ck that cameraman who smashed your knee earlier this season, I bet that sucked.

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