Antrel Rolle reacts in the second half of a game...

Antrel Rolle reacts in the second half of a game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Nov. 17, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It’s been a strong year for Antrel Rolle, quite possibly a Pro Bowl year. But one series of plays still haunts him.

It also happens to be the series that essentially ended the Giants’ season on Nov. 24.

“Nine times out of 10 I come out on top,” he said of the challenges the Giants coaches pose to him in terms of versatility and game-planning. “One time this year I didn’t this year I didn’t come out on top, which is the Dallas game. It hurt me pretty bad. It was a hard pill to swallow, but as a man I swallowed it.”

Rolle was unexpectedly thrust into a man-on-man coverage situation against Dez Bryant on the final drive of that game because Trumaine McBride left with a groin injury. He gave up four completions and the Cowboys kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Rolle said he grew from that experience.

“Always work on your craft,” he said, noting that he hadn’t played the nickelback spot in six weeks before that game so he was rusty in man-to-man coverage. “I’m a nine-year vet and that’s something I had to learn the hard way … That was a valuable lesson I had to learn.”

And he did.

“When they dialed my number up again this past week, I was making sure that wasn’t going to happen again,” he said of playing nickel and covering the Lions’ Calvin Johnson in the slot. “I was prepared – I think I was overly prepared – and did an exceptional job.”

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