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Antrel Rolle defends his celebration with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Giants safety Antrel Rolle speaks to the media

Giants safety Antrel Rolle speaks to the media after a brief team practice at Timex Performance Center that served as the start of training camp. (July 26, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Antrel Rolle said the would-be touchdown celebration with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Sunday that drew a penalty flag as well as the ire of Tom Coughlin was not planned and had more to do with their relationship during this disappointing season than that one play.

"It goes bigger than us celebrating an interception for a touchdown, it goes deeper than what anyone even within the organization knows," Rolle said during his weekly radio appearance on WFAN. "This is someone who I know first-hand came to New York to join me and to be by my side. This is someone who I see throughout the week each and every day battling himself to get healthy. There are some times when he can't even bend over and touch his toes depending on how his back feels on a certain day. He's been struggling with injuries all season long . . . For me, it was bigger than just the interception for a touchdown. DRC is like a little brother to me."

Rolle was trailing Rodgers-Cromartie into the end zone and when they got there, DRC began posing. Rolle said he only did what came naturally.

"I was leaning down at first, just looking at him in shock," he said. "Once I saw his pose, I just started snapping."

It was the pantomime of taking pictures that was flagged, although that penalty was declined and one against Damontre Moore for an illegal hit on quarterback Zach Mettenberger took away the touchdown. Had the penalty against Rolle stood, the touchdown would have counted and the 15 yards would have been assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

Rolle said he was unaware he was breaking any rules.

"I did not know that was something that is not acceptable," he said. "I was so caught up in the moment that when they said, 'Excessive celebration, 26,' I was like, 'What?' I was so caught up in the moment."

Although Coughlin groused about the showboating and said he would discuss the antics with the players, Rolle said he hasn't gotten much grief from the coach on the subject. "If the circumstances were a little bit different, I'm sure we would have had a handful," he said. He also said if the game was closer - the Giants were up 30-7 at the time and that touchdown would have made it 37-7 - he likely would not have acted in the same fashion.

"When it's all said and done, some people are going to make a big deal out of it and some people are going to understand the situation," he added later in the interview. "That's really not my concern . . . It's not a big deal to me at all, to be honest with you."

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