Excerpt: "The price of the victory over the Saints for Antrel Rolle was a deep gash in his tongue, with a chunk of flesh flapping off the side, as well as a case of whiplash.
The price of the loss to the Falcons was worse. The Giants safety was tormented by his performance, including a handful of missed tackles that were not representative of the fight he tries to infuse on a weekly basis to the defense.
“I definitely wasn’t able to provide that for them this past week, which kind of made me sick to my stomach with myself,” Rolle said. “I felt like (crap), really, I really did, because I know that’s not the way I play football.”
Rolle doesn’t wear a captain’s “C” on his jersey, but in his three seasons with the Giants, the seven-year veteran has come to bear the role of an emotional leader for the defense.
His voice can resonate through the locker room, whether it be his message to “sacrifice your mind” before the Packers victory or to have “more dog” before the Saints game. He’s also part of the handful of players on coach Tom Coughlin’s leadership council, which meets with Coughlin regularly through the season, most recently this past Thursday after practice.
Rolle is proud to acknowledge that his fiery leadership follows in the tradition set by two University of Miami predecessors who will be on the other sideline tomorrow: Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who the Giants are expecting to make his long-awaited return from a triceps tear, and safety Ed Reed.
“Ray trickled down to Ed; Ed trickled down to myself,” Rolle said. “I played with Ed Reed (in college), and he’s probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around in my career. They’ll definitely be ready. They’ll be ready, at all costs, without a doubt.” Read more...