Chapter Three: Jason and Eli
We continue our non-stop coverage of the Antrel Rolle interview on WFAN today by moving to two teammates of his whom he was gushing over: Jason Pierre-Paul and Eli Manning.
Certainly there is a lot to gush about. We’ll start with Pierre-Paul, who had two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal against the Cowboys. Rolle said he is by far the most important player for the Giants’ defense.
“All-around defensive linemen? I don’t see anyone playing at a higher level than him,” he said. “And I mean that across the league. This guy does so much for our football team and so much for himself, honestly I don’t even think he realizes it. He’s out there, he’s playing carefree. He’s doing what he’s supposed to do and then some. His motor is through the roof. This guy is definitely the MVP of our defense, hands down. I don’t think anyone comes close when you’re talking about what this guy does for our defense.
“He’s been that dude at the end of the day, and I must admit I’m his biggest fan. I love watching him go to work, I love putting on the film and being like ‘Dang, look at that boy go to work.’ I love seeing him work. And I love his attitude about it. It’s like it’s supposed to be done.”
Pierre-Paul is certainly having a tremendous season. The funny part is that he’s not even on the ballot for Pro Bowl voting by the fans. Each team can have two defensive ends for the ballot, and naturally the Giants were represented by Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.
“He should definitely be in that Pro Bowl,” Rolle said. “I don’t know what’s going on with these fan votings, I don’t know what the situation is about that, but Jason Pierre-Paul definitely needs to be in Hawaii this year. But hopefully he’s not there because we’re in a better place.”
That place being playing in the Super Bowl. Pierre-Paul can’t get the Giants there by himself. But there is one player who might be able to. We transition, therefore, to Rolle’s other favorite player on the team.
“My number one shout-out is going to go to The Elite, and you all know who I’m talking about,” Rolle said. “I’m talking about that Number 10. That dude, man, you can say whatever you want to say about him. Number 26 is Number 10’s biggest fan at the end of the day. I’m like Deion (Sanders): ‘I believe in Eli!’
“He’s saved us all year long, man!” Rolle continued. “You have to give credit where credit is due … That guy is clutch. I don’t care about giving him those compliments because I know Eli can handle that. He can handle anything. He might not be the rah-rah rally kind of guy. He might not be like me. He might not be as vocal as I am. But you know what? That dude is a leader in and out and when it’s on the line – there’s one interview I heard Eli do all year and that’s when I said I knew he’s got it. When he was like ‘If the game is on the line I would rather have the ball in my hands than for them to have it in theirs.’ That tells me all I need to know from our quarterback. He has his eyes on the bigger prize.”
Of course part of Eli wanting to have the ball may be that he’s a little nervous about his defense being on the field. But for now we won’t point that out too prominently and allow the Giants to enjoy the back-patting and the glow of their big win against the Cowboys.