Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle's first attempt at shaking up the Giants came in only his second game with Big Blue. After a particularly bitter loss in Indianapolis in 2010, he criticized the coaching staff, the game plan and the lack of leadership by his teammates..
And from afar, the recently retired Antonio Pierce couldn’t help but smile
Not long after that, Pierce called Rolle and told him “You’re the type of guy they need in that locker room.” Pierce knew, because a few months earlier, before a neck injury ended his nine-year NFL career, he was that guy.
It was clear that when he left the Giants, he left a void. A loud leadership void.
“I know they have other guys in the locker room they call leaders,” Pierce told the Daily News on Thursday. “But you can’t force it on someone. It has to come naturally. With Rolle, it does.”
It should be no surprise, then, that Pierce — now an analyst for ESPN — was thrilled to hear Rolle speak out so strongly on Tuesday about the Giants’ need to get “nasty,” to “get a little bit more dog in us” and to stop heaping so much pregame praise on their opponents. Pierce, who for five years in New York prodded his teammates with everything from words to actions to air horns, agreed that the defense of the defending Super Bowl champs has been pushed around far too much.
So he definitely approved of that message. And he absolutely loves Rolle’s outspoken style.
“I love it when he comes out and says stuff,” Pierce said. “Sometimes you have to step on people’s toes to get to where you need to be. Sometimes you need to start a fire.
“I think in New York you have to have a guy like that. You go back to Jessie Armstead, Harry Carson — every great Giants team had a guy like that. And it always comes from the defensive side of the ball.” Read more...