With one game left in the 2013 New York Giants season, safety Antrel Rolle has 93 tackles (76 solo), two sacks and six interceptions and one forced fumble. It’s rare that his number isn’t somewhere near the field of play.
While getting basically bashed over the years he’s worn blue, Rolle has never been shy about being himself or defending the “NY” he wears. What many fail to hear when they condemn him is that his words (albeit sometimes harsh) are based in passion and a want for the team, as an entire unit, to improve. He doles out “tough love” at times, but will fight for what he and who believes in, without waver. He stands his ground while speaking his heart and mind, which are both NY Giants. No. 26 is in deep. He’s All In.
Defensive end Justin Tuck is another defensive player that has helped Perry Fewell’s defense remain within the top 10-15 this season. With 57 tackles (37 solo) and nine sacks, one forced fumble and an interception, his quieter leadership on the field has helped the defensive line stop the run against the league’s better running backs. This is his best year since 2010. Tuck considered his teammate Rolle 2014 Pro Bowl-worthy.
“I hope so. I think we’ve got guys that have had years that warrant them an opportunity to go over there, and hopefully that happens for a couple guys," Tuck said. "I think he’s [Rolle] the top one, obviously. I think he’s our defensive MVP this year and I think he’s played Pro Bowl-ish. Absolutely.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin isn’t far from the same line of thinking. When asked about Rolle and the Pro Bowl prior to the roster announcements, his answer was brief, but very Giants-pride-like.
“He deserves to be a Pro Bowler the way he’s played. He’s had an outstanding season. It’s a source of pride and an honor to the organization to have a player recognized like that, and he is deserving," Coughlin said.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell believes and has stated that both Rolle as well as Tuck deserved to be voted into the Pro Bowl.
Antrel Rolle’s answers regarding Tuck, the annual All-Star bowl game and his personal season were more off the cuff and, well, Rolle-like.
"We always see more than what the outside can see. … Our relationship, especially this year, has definitely grown to a totally different level…we saw eye to eye on pretty much everything," Rolle said of Tuck. "I think Justin Tuck has had an exceptional year. He’s battled a lot of injuries, sickness and so forth, and you would never know by his play on the field…I hope I can ride with that guy for a few more years.”
On his season and the Pro Bowl:
“It’s always a great accomplishment, but more importantly, I think my main goal and focus has always been how we produce as a team. It doesn’t take anything away from the Pro Bowl or my own personal accolades, but at the same time, I would give my left arm to be playing in the postseason right now. You have to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good," he said prior to the roster announcements.
For those that took personal joy in writing negative quips and pieces on the great New York Giants’ safety over his tenure here in blue, one has to wonder what it would take to see what a true Giant Rolle is. Many would take 53 of him in a heartbeat.
Does the voting committee concur with ‘Trel’s coaches and teammates? Negative. As of approximately 9 PM EST on Friday, Rolle was not voted in…at least as a first. Second alternate was the designation. As for any fellow Giants teammates, well, none of them were either.
"Tell me which safety has better numbers and made more game changing plays than me this year? I'll wait! This Pro Bowl shit is a joke," Rolle tweeted after his snub. "That's why I play for myself, teammates, organization, family and fans. Nothing else matters. All this has done is added more fuel to my fire!"
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