Giants safety Antrel Rolle has only one interception so far this season, but in a bid to see that total increase, he’s challenging opposing quarterbacks to start throwing his way.
“Honestly, I wish teams would challenge me more,” Rolle said. “I wish they would throw the ball more. I like to be tested. I like to understand where I am as a safety. I like to evaluate myself. So, if I got to put it out there for teams to throw the ball at me, I’m going to put it out there: Throw the ball at me, ‘cause I want to go get it.”
So far this season, 17 free safeties have more interceptions than Rolle, which is not the kind of stat he wants to see. Before signing a five-year, $37 million deal in 2010 – a contract that made him the NFL’s highest-paid safety at the time – Rolle had a combined 10 interceptions in his three previous seasons with the Cardinals.
“I’m just running around and trying to make something happen,” Rolle said. “As long as our defense wins, I could care less about my individual stats. It weighs on you at the end of the day, but as long as we win, I’m happy.”
Or is he? Rolle said he’s simply doing what defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is asking him to do; what he’d prefer to do is another matter.
“I’m a ball hawk. That’s what I do. That’s what I love to do,” he said. “This is my second year in this defense and I understand it like the back of my hand. Unfortunately with injuries and things of that nature, I haven’t been able to do what I want to do. Even when I am back there [as a deep safety], I don’t get the opportunities a lot of safeties get for whatever reason.
“If it was up to me, I’d be back deep, hunting the ball, doing what I love to do, but that’s not what the defense entails right now,” he said. “That’s not what’s required of me right now with the position that I’m playing and the roles that I play. I have to do exactly how my defensive coordinator wants me to do it, and I’ve been doing that extremely well all season long.”