Antrel Rolle made his weekly appearance on WFAN today, and while he didn’t quite burn down the forest like he did the last time, he certainly was speaking his mind about the state of the team.
As for the reaction his comments last week drew, Rolle was taken aback.
“I knew it would mix up a couple of things but definitely not to that magnitude,” he said. “Whoa! That’s all I can say.”
He also noted that he thought back after the conversation fo a week ago and thought there were some things he shouldn’t have said.
“I don’t want to cause any controversy on the team,” he said. “It was merely a concern, that’s all it was. I just wanted the best for my team, the best for my guys, the best for the organization.”
As for the personal fouls against the Giants – one of them against Rolle – he said he does not think the Giants are an undisciplined team.
“This is a game of emotion,” he said. “Everyone is jumping on the fact that we played a very undisciplined game, but sometimes guys lose themselves in a football game. I’ve never been an undisciplined player when you’re talking about a football game, but when you’re in the heat of the moment and things happen as they did, you’re going to react. At the end of the day you’re a man before you’re a football player.”
Rolle suggested that had the game been closer at the point he threw his punch, he would have been better able to control himself. “Had the game been in a different situation, had the turnout been a little different, I don’t think I would have let myself engage in such a battle,” he said.
He also insisted – as he did yesterday on Sirius NFL Radio -- that Tom Coughlin has not lost the team.
“I think everyone is definitely panicking when they say Is Coach Coughlin losing his team?” Rolle said. “Why did we play so undisciplined? Coach Coughlin can only control so much. When we’re on the field we’re on the field. It’s the guys. It’s the 53-man roster. Coach Coughlin can’t say ‘You know Antrel, don’t punch this guy when he does this.’ He can say it and preach it as much as he wants to, but at the end of the day we’re going to have things that we have to be held accountable for our own actions.”
Rolle did say that he is learning to adjust to the way the Giants and their players and coaches do things.
“Coach Coughlin wants to win,” he said. “His philosophy may be a different philosophy than mine. His approach might be a totally different approach than the one I would take. A lot of thing might be different. But at the end of the day we must have that one thing in common, which is to win. I understand that completely. He’s not going to be the same as a Jimmy Johnson or a Bill Cowher or any of those other coaches because he’s Tom Coughlin. He has his own approach, his own way of doing things, and you can’t knock him for that. Are the guys tuning him out? No, not under any circumstances around the locker room do I feel that at all. I feel like we’re all together and sooner or later we’re going to prove to you all that we are all together. But we have to take care of things first in the locker room as a team in order for us to take care of things on the field.”
As for his gripe last week about a lack of leadership, Rolle said he’s adjusting to that as well.
“I think the leadership is going to take its role,” he said. “I’m not going to say that it’s not there because it is there. I think we have great leaders in the locker room and what I’m understanding is that everyone leads in their own way, everyone has their own way of leading. Which is fine. You don’t always need the rah rah guy who is going to holler all around the locker room. You just need someone that their presence is going to be felt and their presence is going to be shown. Right now we have a lot of leaders but do we need more leaders? Yeah. We need everyone on the team to be a leader in one way or another.”
Is Rolle becoming a Giants leader?
“I already consider myself one of the vocal leaders on this team,” he said. “Whenever I have something to say it’s definitely being said. Do I say a whole lot? No I don’t say a lot. But when I do say things I think it’s heard and I think it’s very much embraced by my teammates.”