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Antrel Rolle fires back at Bengals' A.J. Green

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle said he's

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle said he's glad to have a break before the Super Bowl. (Aug. 13, 2011) Credit: AP

Antrel Rolle welcomed A.J. Green to exploit the holes the Bengals receiver sees in the Giants' defense. But that invitation came with a warning.

"I'll talk with my pads come Sunday," Rolle said Thursday when asked to respond to Green's boast. "That's how I approach the game. That's how we always approach the game. If he sees me, he better duck. That's it."

Green, the Bengals' leading receiver, was on WFAN Wednesday morning when he was asked about the Giants' defense. He praised the front four, but when it came to the secondary, he said: "I feel like they've got a lot of holes in their defense."

The Giants did not deny that. "Every defense has holes in it," Rolle said, and others, including defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, agreed.

It would be hard for them to deny their vulnerability in the secondary. They have allowed 38 passing plays of 20 or more yards, second-most in the NFL. That stat may be skewed a bit because the Giants are one of the few teams to have played nine games in the first nine weeks (most teams have had a bye by now), but it's still a high number.

Green, who has eight touchdowns -- seven in the last seven games -- and 51 receptions for 735 yards, has been able to exploit defenses deep. He's caught three passes for 40 or more yards this season. The Bengals have been very good at going deep. Although they have connected on only 19 passes from 20 to 39 yards, they have nine of 40 or more. That's second-best in the league.

So the second-best deep-passing offense is going against the second-worst deep-pass defense. Of course, Green is going to see holes. That doesn't mean the Giants have to take what Green says, though.

"I think we're a solid defense, a solid secondary," safety Stevie Brown said.

"He's a very confident receiver and I expect him to say that," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "I expect him to have confidence that he's going to make plays, just as our defense does. We have confidence we're going to make plays against their offense.''

Amukamara did call Green a "flawless" receiver. But he leveled some subtle digs himself, insinuating that Green is not drawing many double-teams despite his success.

"I don't think I've seen any, like, bracket [coverage] on him, and I'm very surprised," Amukamara said. "I guess teams are confident they can play him one on one. We're a confident defense, we think we can play him one on one."

It was Rolle, though, who was the most riled up by Green's comments, even as he noted that they didn't mean anything.

"You don't worry about it," Rolle said. "I'm a deep safety. I'm going to play my responsibility. If I get a chance, I'm coming across."

Rolle also noted that although the Giants' defense may have holes, "at the same time, we're winning games, we're doing whatever it takes to win games around here."

The Bengals are 3-5 and have lost four straight.

"I don't need to defend anything," Rolle said. "No matter what I say, it doesn't weigh anything, it doesn't carry anything. It's about what we go out there and show."


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