For all the anxiety and back page headlines about the sputtering start to the new-look Giants offense, the new-look Giants defense has managed to fly a bit under the radar. But that will start to change on Saturday against the Colts and Andrew Luck.
“This is going to be the best test that we’ve done thus far this year,” Antrel Rolle said yesterday, adding that the game will be a kind of measuring stick to see how far Big Blue’s revamped secondary has come. “I think Luck is an elite quarterback. He’s an outstanding young and rising star in the league.”
Indy’s explosive passing attack will be the first real test of New York’s retooled secondary, one that includes new cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond — the latter of whom Rolle has raved about, calling him “a huge asset”. The moves gave the Giants what, on paper, appeared to be one of the best secondaries in league. Rolle says they still have plenty of work to put in, but they aren’t far off.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way right now,” he said. “As a defensive back unit, I think our chemistry is definitely where it needs to be and it’s going to continue to rise. We all love each other and we all play for one another. More importantly, we all understand what we have at task right now, which is to go out there and see the ball and get the ball.”
Luck brings a talented receiving corps with him, featuring Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and ex-Giant Hakeem Nicks — the first time New York will see him since he left as a free agent this offseason. Rolle has had only kind words for his former teammate, who drew ire both inside and outside the locker room for his listless play last year, but insists that it will be all business come Saturday.
“I’m happy for Hakeem,” Rolle said. “I think he landed in a blessed situation. More important, alongside Reggie Wayne. Hakeem having someone above him to lay down the foundation, lay the law down, is going to help him increase his game just that much more. I’m excited to see Hakeem but there are no friends out there on the field and I know he understands that.”