If you missed Antrel Rolle’s weekly spot on WFAN today, well, shame on you. It’s definitely appointment radio. Whether you think he talks too much and needs to shut up and play or think that he is quickly becoming the voice of the Giants, it’s an entertaining and intense couple of minutes.
Unfortunately, it is generally so wide-ranging that it takes a while to digest. So for the blog here, we’ll break this week’s episode down into four segments: Rolle on commentators who tell the public who gets burned (Collinsworth, I would imagine); Rolle on teammates JPP and Eli; Rolle on the way the defense is playing; and Rolle on the Redskins. We may be saving the Redskins one for last, but let me spare you the drama: He does not guarantee victory.
Anyway, we start with Sunday’s game and the play when Dez Bryant was the loneliest person in a 100,000-seat stadium. There was obviously a miscommunication on the coverage between Rolle and Corey Webster on that side of the field. Apparently NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth said that it was a breakdown on Rolle’s part. In fact, what Collinsworth said was that Rolle was “barbecued” and he called the coverage “amateurish.”
Rolle took exception.
“The commentators don’t know what coverage we’re in, they don’t know how we’re playing our defense, they don’t know that I’m disguising, showing a cover 2, but I’m really supposed to drop down and play a cover 3. They don’t know. It drives me crazy. When I speak about this I’m not speaking about it just on behalf of Antrel Rolle, I’m speaking out on behalf of people across the league. I don’t care what position it is, commentators always want to point the finger as if they know what they’re doing and they know what they’re talking about, but in reality they don’t half of the time.”
Rolle said he takes a lot of pride in knowing the “ins and outs” of the entire defense and being the “quarterback of the defense.” And, he said, that the Bryant touchdown was not his fault. Nor were the other glaring miscues in the secondary over the last month.
“I’m saying that if there’s a coverage and I’m supposed to be in a certain area, best believe I’m going to be where I’m supposed to be. Like I was Sunday night, like I was against San Francisco, like I was against the Packers. At the end of the day they come out and say ‘Oh, Antrel Rolle got burned.’ No, Antrel Rolle didn’t get burned. Antrel Rolle was exactly where he was supposed to be. Know what the hell you are talking about at the end of the day.
“It p----- me off because I know what I’m doing, the coaches know what I’m doing, but the people watching on TV, the only thing they know is what the commentators are telling them … At the end of the day I care what the fans think, I care what people watching this game think, because I take a whole lot of pride in my game at the end of the day.”
So two things to take from this. One is that Rolle was in the right place. The second is that must mean Corey Webster was not. It was Webster who was lined up against Bryant but apparently thought he was getting help behind him and sat down on an out route, allowing Bryant to buzz past him.
Rolle said he wasn’t pointing fingers. But there were two guys involved there and he exonerated only one.
“No one goes without sin on our defense,” he said. “Whether it was Corey Webster who screwed up, whether it was someone else, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day we’re going to fix it and we’re going to get better. But just because I’m a safety or Deon Grant is a safety or Kenny Phillips is a safety that doesn’t mean that we’re always supposed to be back deep. We have a million different coverages that we play. Sometimes we’re going to disguise a cover 2 and walk down to a cover 3 like we did on that play … Instead of assuming, try to have an idea or try to think things out and know what you are talking about at the end of the day because it happens quite often. Not just to me.”
And oh yeah, there's more to come!