You knew that the comments made by Antrel Rolle, and Kenny Phillips, about New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, would draw reactions from a variety of places. Well, here are some of the reactions thus far:
My good friend Pat Traina, editor of Inside Football, has taken Rolle to task more strongly than I did. I like the substance of what she has to say, which is very critical of the Giants' Pro Bowl safety.
Here are some snippets of Pat's post:
I respect Rolle. I think he is a good person who really does try to be a good football player and a good teammate. I think he has a lot of upside, event though he struggled a bit in coverage this year, and I think he is going to work his butt off to be an even better player next year.
However, I think that Rolle’s fatal flaw, if you will, is that he gets caught up on the quantity of what comes out of his mouth rather than the quality. ...
At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. Period. You win, you have fun. You lose, then coming to work is going to be harder, no question.
Every coach goes about it differently – you have the Bill Belichicks and Tom Coughlins of the world, and then you have the Rex Ryans and Ken Whisenhunts.
Is one style better than the other? Belichick and Coughlin have won fiveSuper Bowls between them. Whisenhunt and Ryan currently have zero combined.
Not to speak for Rolle, but I think the reason why he is so intrigued with how Ryan runs his program is because the players can say whatever they want without fear of punishment, an atmosphere that has to appeal to the outspoken as Rolle.
There is a lot more from Pat. Go read it, if you can stand more from Rolle. To be honest, I'm getting tired of the guy. As good a player as he can be, I am starting to see him, or at least his current attitude, as part of the problem.
The Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo also has some thoughts worth sharing on this topic.
Rolle’s comments don’t necessarily indicate a team mutiny. He’s one of 53 players in that locker room, and many of the other 52 have defended Coughlin in recent weeks. And upon announcing Coughlin will return next season, John Mara said the coach hasn’t lost the locker room.
Here's another longer section of MG's take:
Coughlin repeatedly took the blame for losses. And I mean repeatedly. I remember the postgame press conference after the loss to the Titans when he said the turnovers and penalties were "my responsibility. The way in which we play in between the lines is my responsibility and I'm taking full responsibility for that."
I followed up by asking him how in the heck such dumb, simple mistakes could be his fault and he replied with a long answer that ended with, "We gave a game away that we should have won and I'll take the responsibility for that."
Apparently that and the other instances of Coughlin taking the blame weren’t good enough for Phillips and Rolle.
"At the end of the day, if I’m not doing what I need to do as a player, you come and tell me, and we sit down and talk about it and I’m going to try to do whatever I can to get better at it. That’s how I am," Rolle said. "I take coaching, I can take the constructive criticism. That’s how I am. And I feel like everyone else in this league should also take it the same way."
Now all that being said about Coughlin taking the blame, perhaps it’s time for him to once again re-evaluate his relationship with the players, as he did in 2007 when he was hanging by a thread and showed his team his human side on the way to the Super Bowl.
One more from MG, which I also happen to agree whole-heartedly with:
This very interview is a sign of discipline problems and guys who aren’t handling themselves well outside of football.