Antrel Rolle's Outburst Should Get Everyone's Attention

Antrel Rolle. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I have to admit I was a bit surprised -- maybe even a lot surprised -- by what seemed like overwhelming support about BBV for Antrel Rolle following his extremely candid WFAN radio appearance Tuesday.

There were, of course, some who believed Rolle -- a newcomer to the Giants -- had no business speaking out the way he did. The primary sentiment, though, can be summed up as "thank you, Antrel, for saying much of what we have been thinking."

In case you did not wade through the more than 300 comments made Tuesday about Rolle's outburst, here are a few of the ones supporting him.

I agree with everything he said
because he didnt remove himself and placed blame on everyone…….thats the problem, we get beat dwn and everybody acts like its okay, i saw the same disinterested look on Tucks face in this blowout as the one in last years panthers game……this team has a "so what" attitude and Rolle is here to step up, this guy has real pride and is clearly emerging as the leader…………….He is also right about letting a dog be a dog and not controlling everything……..we were lifeless and im glad he is speaking up, i bet you things change now!!!
-- Blue Gates

The fact that Antrel rolle is a new player around here makes it better
Because he wasn’t in this locker room last year, it feels like he didn’t experience the troubles and debacles that occured for the g-men. He gets to see first hand what happens and why it happened. The rest of players just shurgged, cared less, and seemed like they were pretty much used to it.
-- npfdawg

Best thing to happen to this team
I have a feeling in 3 months we’ll be looking back on this week as the moment everyone pulled their heads out of their asses, stopped patting themselves on the back and started playing some damn football. I’m glad they’re embarrassed and I think Rolle is dead right about a horrible game plan AND the lack of execution of it. If Tuck doesn’t want to step up and be a defensive leader, then maybe Rolle will.
-- TNYFBG

I have thought a lot about Rolle's comments since I found out about them Tuesday afternoon. Are they divisive? Are they right on the money? Was he right to air out his feelings via the radio? Should he have taken his gripes to Tom Coughlin, Perry Fewell and Jerry Reese behind closed doors?

Honestly (which seemed to be one of Rolle's favorite words during his diatribe) I went back and forth on it. As much as it helps me by making great fodder for discussion, I am old school enough to believe that you don't take your gripes to the press. You take them to the organization behind closed doors.

I have lambasted Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey and Osi Umenyiora for their public airing of the Giants dirty laundry. So, I find myself in an odd position this morning.

I really have no problem with what Rolle said. I almost admire the way he did it, going out of his way to include everyone -- including himself -- for the debacle that was the Sunday night game against Indianapolis.

I am always the optimist about the Giants, always looking for the bright side and talking you guys off the ledge. Sunday's loss was just one poor game, and I remain convinced that there are enough weapons on offense and enough talent on defense for this to be a very good season for the Giants.

Yet, in the wake of Rolle's comments I have to believe there is something amiss on this football team. Something in that locker room is just not right. Complacency among veteran players who have Super Bowl rings and might not be as hungry as they once were? A disconnect between the coaching staff, including the new defensive coordinator, and the players?

I don't know for sure, and I'm not in the locker room to get a feel for what is going on in there. But how often do you hear players be as blunt as Rolle was Tuesday in discussing the vibe in the Giants workplace?

"I saw some things that I wasn't too fond of in that locker room. I felt like there was no one that stepped up to the plate when the opportunity presented itself.

"I don't take anything away from any player. I love my teammates, my teammates are great, they're warriors. But I felt like in a situation like that something should have been done. I don't feel like there was enough done at all in that game.

"I definitely see things, I see little things here and there, and it's not all with the players. There's a lot of other things that go on behind closed doors that a lot of people don't know about. It's not all about the players, sometimes.

"Things have to change. If you want a winning team, if you want a team to have the competitive attitude and to have that 'dog' mentality sometimes you have to let that team be a dog.

"Everything can't be controlled, and right now everything is controlled within this organization. Everything is controlled."

Did Rolle, two games into his Giants career, have the right to make such bold remarks? I think he has the credibility to speak his mind, and be heard. This is not C.C. Brown. This is a player who spent five season in Arizona, has been to a Pro Bowl and has been on teams that went to the playoffs each of the past two seasons. Without doubt, he has an understanding of how the game should be played, and what it takes to win. Maybe, just maybe, a fresh voice like his roaring from the rooftops -- or the radio, as it is -- is just what the doctor ordered.

Before Rolle made his remarks Tuesday, the New York Post's Mike Vaccaro wrote a column urging coach Tom Coughlin to put away the nice guy routine and get back to being the demanding drill sergeant he had always been prior to 2007.

Wrote Vaccaro:

You have to believe there remains a part of Coughlin's soul that wants to rise up and scream at the world that what he's seen from the Giants for most of the past year is utterly unacceptable. You know he not only wants to throw his defense under the bus, he wants to back the damned bus over it a few times, maybe wake it the hell up.

Good. Coughlin got his ring. He got his extension. He got paid. Maybe now it's time for him to go back to being who he really is, who he always was. Is it abrasive? Is it loud? Is it uncomfortable? Maybe it is.

And maybe that's exactly what the Giants need.

I am not sure what the Giants need, aside from some new blood on the aging offensive line. I do know that we have seen games like Sunday far too often in the past two seasons.

Sunday's lopsided loss to Indianapolis was one game, yes. It could turn out to be -- and hopefully will turn out to be -- an ugly blip in a great season. But, the Giants lost 8 of their last 11 games last season, and five of those losses were not competitive.

Good football teams, and I still believe the Giants are capable of being a very good football team, do not consistently lose games by three or more touchdowns. We heard, and made the injury excuse over and over last season. That excuse won't wash for Sunday's thrashing by Indianapolis.

Rolle is right that "things have to change."

What those "things" are, I'm not entirely sure. I do know that what Rolle has done is lay down the challenge for everyone to look in the mirror and figure them out.

Much to my own surprise, I'm glad he did.

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