Antrel Rolle called out his New York Giants' teammates late last season, and that ended up being one of the defining moments as the Giants pulled themselves together and went on a 6-0 Super Bowl run.
In the wake of Monday's disappointing 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins, a defeat that took an NFC East that once seemed to be a lock for the Giants and threw it into a free-for-all, Rolle has done it again.
During his regular spot on WFAN Rolle said he's tired of teammates giving opposing players (like, umm, Robert Griffin III) so much credit and that the Giants, who seemed resigned to their fate Monday night, need to regain a "nasty attitude."
"Personally, that’s something myself, that’s not anything I’ve been too fond of," Rolle told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. "Do I respect my opponents? I respect them. You know, I’ll give credit when credit’s due. But I’m not gonna kiss anyone’s butt before the game. That’s something that I’m never, ever gonna do as long as I’m playing the game of football."
Rolle, of course, was referring to all of the platitudes the Giants sent RGIII's way after the first game between the teams, as well as last week leading up to Monday.
Here is more from the WFAN report:
"I think we just need to get back to being a little nasty, having a nasty attitude," said Rolle. "Like I said, don’t do anything that’s out of the line of football, but have a little nasty attitude, get a little bit more dog in us, and go out there and play the game. Play the game physical, play the game tough, play the game hard, and we’ll give hugs and kisses after the game.
"But while that game is going on, we respect no one. And that’s how the game of football needs to be played."
Rolle insisted he wasn’t pointing the finger at a particular player. He was speaking of the team as a whole — himself included.
"I don’t see enough dog out there on the field," Rolle said. "I don’t see enough dog, I don’t see enough manhandling out there on the field, and I don’t see us putting opponents away when we know we could."
There have been times in the past when I thought Rolle should have kept his thoughts to himself. Here, though, I couldn't agree with him more. Some Giants' defenders have spoken so glowingly about Griffin and the Redskins' offense you wonder if, in a way, they had themselves believing they were overmatched before the game even started.
The Giants still lead the NFC East, but they have undoubtedly lost control of it. Give the Redskins some credit, but the Giants have lost three of four and really have no one but themselves to blame for the hard road they now face.