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Antrel Rolle upbeat about Giants' secondary

Antrel Rolle reacts in the second half of

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

Safety Antrel Rolle likes the look of the Giants' rebuilt secondary, which includes newcomers Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurman.

"I'm very pleased with what I've seen thus far,'' Rolle said. "Obviously, there's a lot of areas to clean up and fine-tune, cut down on a lot of penalties, especially in the defensive backfield. But overall, I think we've been doing a great job of keeping a team out of the end zone, which is always our No. 1 priority. So far, so good.''

Rolle will get a better idea of just how far the secondary has progressed when the Giants visit the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck Saturday night in their third preseason game.

"This is going to be the best test thus far this year with the receiver tandem they have,'' Rolle said, referencing T.Y. Hilton, former Giant Hakeem Nicks and Reggie Wayne, who may be ready to come back from a knee injury. "I think Luck is an elite quarterback. He's outstanding, a young and rising star.''

Rolle is eager to see Nicks, a key performer in the Giants' 2011 Super Bowl run.

"It's always going to be good to see Hakeem,'' Rolle said. "I'm happy for Hakeem. I think he landed in a blessed situation. More important, alongside Reggie Wayne. I'm a longtime friend of Reggie Wayne. I understand his work ethic and his craft. Hakeem having someone above him to lay down the foundation, lay the law down, is going to help him increase his game just that much more.

"I'm excited to see Hakeem, but there are no friends out there on the field, and I know he feels the same way about us. This is home for him. I'm just looking forward to the game.''

Rolle said it will be another opportunity for the Giants to get used to the increased focus on enforcing the rule not allowing contact with receivers beyond 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.

"I think with the point of emphasis on the rule, especially in the defensive backfield, it makes us fine-tune our skills just that much more,'' he said. "I think we have guys who played in this league for quite some time back there. Guys that have seen everything a team is going to throw at you. Whatever your eyes see, trust and believe it. As long as it's within your technique, your rules and assignment, just go ahead and go get it.''

Rolle sees this secondary as one of the best he's been part of since joining the Giants in 2010.

"We have a great combo of corners and great combo of safeties,'' he said. "I think this is one of the first times I've been around a complete team that can get it done at every angle.''

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