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New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Still Has No Answers for What Went Wrong in 2012

January 27th, 2013 at 9:30 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle has attempted to enjoy the NFL Playoffs as a casual observer, but it's not been easy on him. As he witnesses the glory of his first championship fading away, he can't help but look back and think about what might have been. Yet, as much as he contemplates the ongoings of the past season, he still has no solid answers as to what went wrong.

"Have I come up with an answer? No. I just understand that there were certain times where we were able to get up and fight through whatever we needed to fight through to be successful and at certain times we weren’t able to, for whatever rhyme or reason," Rolle told Giants.com. "You can see it before the game. You can see it during the game. You can see it after the game. For whatever reason, as a team, we weren’t in-sync; we weren’t hungry enough for that particular moment. It showed."

The "lack of fire" excuse has been one used by many Giants in an effort to explain exactly what went wrong during their 9-7 season, but it doesn't entirely explain away certain aspects of their crumble. And, if that's the excuse they all wish to stick to, it's certainly a poor one that reflects badly upon them as athletes and head coach Tom Coughlin as their leader.

Whatever the case may be, the team certainly isn't enjoying it this offseason. And if Rolle has his way, they'll return next season with a renewed sense of vigor and a hunger to reclaim what they still feel is theirs.

“I’m a part of this team. I feel like if one fails, we all fail,” Rolle said. “That’s just the way we look at it and the way I look at it. I think we need to find a common ground within everyone on this team. We need to find a common ground. I don’t think a team should look at one person or two people or three people, for example, to get motivated. I think every man should look at themselves and be able to look at any other player on the roster. It doesn’t matter who it is in order to look for that spark or that extra boost of energy or that focus level.”

Is it time for training camp yet?

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

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21 Responses to “New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Still Has No Answers for What Went Wrong in 2012”

  1.  kujo says:

    Seems like there’s an early consensus that the 3 areas of need this offseason are the interior OL and DL, as well as the secondary–specifically cornerback–with middle linebacker and right tackle coming next on that list.

    So, given that assessment, I don’t think there’s any doubt that we draft the best available corner or tackle at #19. Relative to value, the type players we need at DT and OG are typically found aplenty in the 3rd and 4th round. Similarly, the value at middle linebacker will be around in the 2nd and 3rd round, unless you think Te’o and Ogletree are worth a top 20 pick. On the other hand, the quality at corner diminishes rapidly after the first 75 picks or so. At that point, you’re getting a project guy, or someone with “character concerns.” This doesn’t mean that the picks won’t work out–see Hosley, Jayron– but that they are more risky and have a larger margin of error. And given the way our current depth chart looks, I see the pain threshold for error as being razor thin.

    The caveats that I would make are that free agency will have a huge impact on how Reese assigns value and need to different positions. While you and I might favor youth over experience, it could be that it would be better, longterm, to sign a veteran corner, defensive tackle, interior lineman or linebacker to plug these holes. Further, if we were to loose Beatty, Boothe or Bennett, their positions might shoot up the list of needs and tip the scales considerably. I’d also point out that Cruz remains unsigned to longterm deal, Nicks is a year behind him, Randle is still very much a work in progress, Jernigan hasn’t shown anything, and Hixon is clearly not much more than excellent depth. Much like corner, the type of player you have available to you as a top 20 pick at WR is day-and-night better than what you have later on in the draft. Until we see some contracts being inked for our top 2, you shouldn’t remove WR off the table as potential value-based picks in the 1st or 2nd round.

    •  Krow says:

      Very correct about needs and the possible impact of free agency.

    •  sonnymooks says:

      The defense as a whole needs an upgrade and at every position. This was, statistically, one of the worst Giants defenses in team history in terms of yardage and points allowed.

      The need another pass rusher, Osi is gone, Tuck is nearing his end with the Giants (and his best days are behind him), that leaves JPP to get double or triple teamed without help.

      They need DTs, they were getting gouged by running games, Austin may never be the player he could have been, he’s a very big question mark, Canty is not going to be the same, and there are health issues there.

      Then our LBs, between getting burned on pass plays and gouged on run plays, we had injuries. We NEED hard hitting physically intimidating HITTERS with speed. There must be a presence that deters there, and that can make plays and pop guys. We’ve needed this for years though, and have not been steller when it comes to drafting and/or acquiring LBs.

      Our CB’s and Safetys need young, healthy guys who can be playmakers AND play 16 to 19 games. With the WRs and TEs of today, we need big, fast and physical guys and we need them in the back 7. There are to many injuries back there with guys getting torched, and we are facing more dangerous passing attacks then ever now. The difficulty is only going to go up, thus, our talent needs to go up. Especially with the version of the cover 2 that we play not likely to change.

      And yes, while we need to upgrade our OL, unless its a stud who is vastly superior to any defensive player at that slot, I would be hesitant to go there early, we may have to settle for a project and coach him up and develop him, while hoping last years picks can contribute this year and also that Brewer can step in if Beatty is gone (and considering his age, and position and that he is a starter with a ring, someone WILL do something stupid and overpay him, so he is gone, he won’t get what he is worth, he will get MORE).

      Good news, we don’t have to draft a TE (assuming we retain Bennet), we drafted a TE last year, who has had a year of coaching from the best of the best in Pope, another offseason and training camp, and he should be able to contribute this year and we can tap into the talent.

      We don’t need running backs, we don’t need WRs (though if you see one that you think is a future pro-bowler, and he is vastly better then anyone else at the spot, grab it as a value pick). We don’t a need QB (it feels good saying that).

      This draft should be defense heavy with OL being the only position on offense that we grab. Not just for now, but for the future. We have a nice size window with a young WR corps (if we re-sign those guys), young and developing TEs and a future stud RB and probowl QB. We just need line help on that side of the ball, but we aren’t going anywhere with a 6,000 yard defense unless we start catching breaks on a miracle run.

      Personally, I like to avoid Free Agency, but its spackle, we have to look there to fill the cracks for the short term, but I’d rather develop our own guys, but FA should not affect the draft, the draft should affect our free agency.

  2.  Krow says:

    Our free agency activity also depends on whether or not we reach agreement with our own FAs.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    I’d add RT as a priority and otherwise fully agree with kujo’s assumptions.

    But remember, a player that the Giants think is a potentially great one who plays an “impact” position could be there at #19 and then all bets are off.

    For what it’s worth, I think the only “sure things” in April are Joeckel, Warmack and Milliner. And we’re not getting any of them.

    •  kujo says:

      I’m downplaying the need for a RT because I’m assuming that Brewer will be given a chance to earn that starting spot. Should he not, I believe we’ll see Diehl back there, mainly because we will very likely be unable to afford to sign a viable replacement, given our cap situation. I readily admit that I could be wrong, and that I will be in full-scale panic mode if this situation were to play out. But I am taking into account Reese’s words last offseason about having patience and letting your draft picks have the time to succeed or fail.

      Also, I have a really funny story to tell you when I have more time on my hands. It involves a friend of mine spending the evening with your buddy Ramses Barden. Needless to say, your opinion of him personally is more right than I and others gave you credit for.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Agreed about RT, but if a potentially great one is there I’d take him anyway.

        As for Barden, I’m just glad to have seen the last of him.

        •  kujo says:

          I’ve learned to separate what I–the idiot who locked himself in a meat locker and who as political beliefs of “below average intelligence” according to Mr.Benton– WOULD do, and what I believe Reese WILL do. I would have taken several of the RT and OG prospects Reese has passed up in the last 3-4 years. But they don’t pay me.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    One ray of sunshine at this point is that to a man, the players seem extremely unhappy about 2012, and bewildered as to why they didn’t come together and play well when they had their fate in their hands. I’ve talked about all of the factors that I suspect played into it, but regardless, I’m glad that a number of the players sound really driven to avoid that in 2013, and sound hungry.

    They should all know that they got humiliated down the stretch this season. A defending Super Bowl champion with its fate entirely in its hands doesn’t even show up for three games (and was barely there in a fourth) and gets absolutely mauled without any real resistance when winning any one of those games would have gained them a playoff slot? If that doesn’t drive them this season then nothing will. I understand why it’s so hard to repeat. But we should all be more angry than disappointed that they failed to compete against the Bengals, the Falcons and the Ravens, played poorly against the Skins, and sleep-walked through the Steelers game. Coughlin needs to make sure they all know coming in that performances like those will get people off the team in a hurry if repeated.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Ah, one more “sure thing”: Zach Erst will be a very good NFL tight end. He has all the tools and is a smart kid. Cannot miss. We don’t need him, but whomever picks him will do well with that.

  6.  giantsou812 says:

    Maybe the natural disaster’s and injury’s took a toll.
    We had one healthy DT at the end of the year, Everybody knows they clog the running lane’s and keep the linebackers clean.
    point is we need a corner 1st pick
    2nd OT Rick Wagner
    3rd DE/OLB, move kiwi to DE full time.
    4th another corner.
    freeagency will change this theory, Hope the Giants resign almost everyone,These guys would make great backups.

  7.  TuckThis says:

    A football-less Sunday. Yikes!

    •  Valid says:

      Meh. I’ve been pretty indifferent to football ever since Week 17 ended. Can’t bring myself to care too much with the Giants out of it.

  8.  F0XL1N says:

    I don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion Warmack is off the board when we pick. Decastro went at 24 last year Pouncey at 15 the year before but as a center. Iupati was the last guard to go above 19 (at 17) in recent years. Is he my early pick for us. If he is off the board, Kawann Short the DT from Purdue continues to look like a stud after a big senior bowl.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      I was hoping for Iupati and I’m actually glad we didn’t get him. Boothe is the better pass blocker. And so am I for that matter. Iupati’s pass blocking is god-awful. I also remember wanting the Giants to trade up to get Robert Gallery. The Raiders “nabbed” him. He was supposed to be a can’t-miss LOT stud.

      Fail.

    •  GmenMania says:

      Warmack is a better prospect than DeCastro was. No chance he’s there when we pick, although that would be incredible.

      Kawann Short would be OK, but I prefer Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) in the first round. Higher ceiling, but just as ready.

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    If Warmack is there it would be a crime if we don’t take him. He could play LG on Day 1 and be better than Boothe will ever be, and could then switch over to the right side if needed when Snee retires.

    The offensive line is a bit of a mystery, not because of what we had starting (we know they are not anything special) but because we don’t know about the younger players. Do any of us really know much about Brewer, Mosley, McCants, Capers, etc.? How about Browning, Goodin and the huge kid from that small school in Kentucky or Tennessee, or someplace like that? Any one or two of these kids could turn out to be real players.

    I think Baas has an unfair reputation around here. Surround him with more talent and I think he’ll be a solid center. If they sign Beatty (which may or may not be a priority for Reese….he’ll offer him what he thinks he’s worth and no more) he is a solid anchor on the left side. Snee may be on the downhill side of his career but is still good enough at this point.Boothe is solid, if not special, and is likely to be signed if Beatty is not back (and probably vice versa). So get at least one real stud through the draft this April, and another next April and we should be more than fine even if only two of the younger players we already have turn out well.

  10.  GmenMania says:

    UUT

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