In other Antrel Rolle news, the Giants safety said his hit on wide receiver Jerome Simpson last night was “absolutely not a penalty” and he will appeal any fines that the NFL levies against him for the play.
The play happened with a little less than two minutes left in the first half and Rolle came across the field and leveled Simpson. Flags flew.
“It absolutely was not a penalty,” Rolle said on WFAN. “Once I got home and I watched the game again last night, I saw that I hit him with my shoulder blade and he actually ducked into the hit because I was pretty high.”
That is true, but the league has been clear that the responsibility for avoiding contact with a defenseless players head lies solely on the hitting player no matter how much the player ducks, as Simpson clearly did. And while we commonly hear the phrase "helmet to hemlet contact" in terms of penalties - and there was none of that on this play - any contact with the head area of a receiver is flaggable. And usually fineable.
“I’m definitely going to appeal it, that goes without a doubt,” Rolle said of the virtually inevitable fine. “If I felt I was in the wrong I wouldn’t appeal it, but I know I wasn’t in the wrong. Whatever. Things like that don’t really bother me. I’ve been called for them before. I’ve won some, I’ve lost some, but it’s never going to stop my performance, it’s never going to slow me down as a player.”
In fact, Rolle said he’ll continue to play that way.
“I try to avoid any head-on collisions and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of doing that,” he said. “But throughout the course of the game, I’m playing a Cover-2 and those are just my reads … I’m trying to not allow him to catch the ball. If they have to call me for that 100 out of 100 times, they’re just going to have to call me for it 100 out of 100 times because I’m not going to allow the opponent to catch the ball under any means. I am trying to play smart and play within the rules.”