Don’t expect a sigh of relief from Antrel Rolle.
The Giants safety told WFAN during his weekly appearance that winning the first game of the season Monday night against the Vikings does not relieve the pressure that was building as the team went winless through its first six games. In fact, he said it’s just the opposite.
“I think the pressure is on now more than ever,” he said. “In my eyes we have to win out. That’s the way I look at it, I’m sure that’s the way our team looks at it. We have to win out. We dug a pretty big hole for ourselves and we have to fight like hell to get out of it. Is the pressure off? Absolutely not. This is football. We live and die for pressure. This is why we play the game. We love this feeling, we love this intense feeling. As far as pressure being off, I really don’t see it that way. I’m never going to see it that way.”
Rolle has been confident about the team all season, even as the losing mounted. When they were 0-4, he predicted the team would go 12-4. When they lost their sixth against the Bears almost two weeks ago, he admitted that he sounded like “a broken record” but maintained his belief in the team.
So now Rolle says the team needs to win out. Can they?
Buckle up! Here comes Antrel’s answer:
“I take a lot of heat for the things that I say or me expressing myself as a player, but I’ve never ever been the type of guy who worries about what anyone else says or what they think,” Rolle said. “I go with my gut, I go with what I feel I need to say, I go with what I feel is right. I have all the trust in the world in this team. People say this and they say that, but I’ve been on a losing team before in Arizona and I never acted this way. It’s not about winning and losing for me, it’s never been about winning and losing. It’s been about the team going out there and doing what we’re capable of doing. When I was in Arizona I knew we just weren’t that good of a team my first couple of years there. I knew that, so I didn’t expect too much of us. But I expect a whole lot from this team because I believe in this team and I know the type of talent that we have here on this team. I just know that we haven’t been going out there and displaying it. People are going to criticize me, they’re going to say what they want. They’re going to say ‘Antrel, shut the hell up.’ ‘What are you smoking?’ ‘Are you on this, are you on that?’ I couldn’t care less because I know who I am and I know what we have in our locker room and I’m here to win games. I’m here to motivate, I’m here to go out there and play with my actions and my thinking ability and I’m going to continue to do that. I don’t care who has anything to say about it.”
He never technically answered the question: Can the Giants win out? But my guess is it’s a "yes."
“Right now we’re up to something good,” he said, “but it’s going to be up to us to keep it consistent.”