Antrel Rolle’s weekly appearance on WFAN today was full of his usual news-making soundbites. Of course one of the topics was what he breached on Sunday when he said that the Giants who are able to play should be practicing. Most people assumed he was talking about Justin Tuck, the only Giants on the defense who plays a significant roll and missed practices during the week.
“First of all, my comments weren’t directed to any one in particular,” Rolle said. “And I know the media -- as always -- was trying to pinpoint one of our guys, which is Justin Tuck. So further off I’m going to go by saying this: When I said what I said, I didn’t pinpoint and neither did I name call any one. I wasn’t speaking about any one in particular. My quotes were, ‘If we’re going to make the run that we need to make, we need to have everyone on board, whether it’s nicks or it’s bruises, we have to learn how to push through it.’
“I’m not saying that from a physical aspect. I’m saying that from a mental aspect. Because if you can push yourself through little things like that, then you know what, you can push yourself through other things. And that’s exactly what we need. We need to be able to push ourselves and drive ourselves to win. That’s it. The bottom line.
“Then the media tried to come and say, ‘Well, Tuck didn’t practice this week.’ And I said, to be honest with you, I’m so in tune in practice, I don’t know who practiced and who doesn’t. I said, ‘If Tuck didn’t practice, in my eyes, Tuck played a very positive game for what I can see on the field. I said, me being a defensive back, it’s hard for us to really judge what the defensive line’s doing on each and every play. But I did in the backfield a couple times see him on some key tackles a couple times. At the end of the day, legitimate injuries are legitimate injuries. I’m not saying he’s Superman. I’m just saying, if you can give us a little bit more, give us a little bit more.
“Like I said, it all starts in practice. And we need everyone on board if they can be on board. That’s it. That was my comment.”
Clarifying? Maybe. But he obviously had someone in mind when he made those comments.
Rolle also discussed his own gaffe, a missed tackle on a third-and-17 play that led to a 16-yard gain, ultimately a first down, and a touchdown later in the drive.
“It’s exactly what it was,” he said. “It was a missed tackle. I definitely should have made the tackle and got them off the field. It was a big play. It allowed them to get in a situation which we could have definitely prevented them from. And I should have played better. I should have done better on that play. I tried to wrap him up and make the tackle but for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to wrap him up. And that’s on me.”
But Rolle became irritated when it was suggested how big of a play that specific one was.
“Throughout the game there’s going to be plays that are happening,” he said. “I’m not saying that there wasn’t a momentum change, I’m not saying there was. It’s a first down. It wasn’t a touchdown, it wasn’t a game-breaker. It was a play, I should have made it, without a doubt, he actually didn’t get the first down, we still could have stopped then on fourth-and-1, so I’m not going to sit here and let you make me think that was a momentum-changer in the game or a game-changing play because it wasn’t and I don’t care who had something to say about it. I take full accountability for what I should have done, I always do. But it’s not as big as you’re making it out to be.”