Football season is in the air, as high school and college football season begin this week. Next week, the NFL will start up it's regular season slate and the run for the Lombardi Trophy will begin. For the New York Giants their first stop on the chase for their fifth Lombardi Trophy, will be in Dallas when they take on their NFC East division rivals the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
After an injury filled and offensively challenged preseason, the Giants are hoping for some better luck when the regular season begins. One thing the G-Men hope stays the same from the preseason, is the play of their defense.
One player that will be a big help to keep the Giants' defense afloat is strong safety Antrel Rolle, who came back after from suffering a high ankle sprain two weeks ago to play in the Giants last preseason game against the New England Patriots Thursday night.
Rolle has been a key player in Big Blue's success on defense since he came to New York in 2010 from the Arizona Cardinals and is an important factor to how the Giants secondary will play this season.
Rolle, who is happy to be back on the field this preseason.
"We put it out there in preseason," said Smith of the Giants' level of play. "Why not go out there and do it for the regular season? Obviously, we know the speed of the game definitely speeds up and teams really throw their playbook at us. We're ready for whatever comes our way. We're a very confident defense and we're a veteran defense and we're going to go out there and make things happen."
Another role that Rolle will take on this season, is helping free agent acquisition Ryan Mundy get accustomed to New York's defense, with starting free safety Stevie Brown out for the season due to a torn ACL.
"Things are great," said Rolle. "The communication was awesome. We were on the same page at the same time on each and every play and things are only going to get better at this point."
Besides injuries, the Giants defense has many issues to work out, especially with trying to improve from last seasons sub par year. Rolle doesn't seem to wrapped up in last year's showing.
"We don't worry about last year," he noted. "The season is what it is. We finished 9-7. We didn't make the playoffs. We understand what we left on the field last year and us understanding that at this point is only going to allow us to get better and if we're going to have that improvement and that extra motivation, that drive to get better and to make sure we don't have those let downs.
Without the pressures of defending a title of like they did last year, the Giants will be the hunters instead of the hunted. Also with the talk of the Washington Redskins with RGIII and the Cowboys talent loaded roster, the Giants have been overlooked by many analysts this offseason.
"To be honest with you, I couldn't care less of what anyone picks or how they may perceive anything or even how they may view the Giants because at the end of the day they don't play the game," said Rolle. "They don't dictate anything of what takes place out there on Sundays or Monday nights. Like I said, to be honest with you, I could really care less."
Rolle would say it best to see how the Giants defense and as a whole team will play this season, saying
"Just tune into the TV and watch," said Rolle. "You can't speak about it in words because we haven't put anything out there yet. I can't sit here and say to view this as a Super Bowl team when we haven't gone out there and displayed that we're a Super Bowl team. Tune in Sunday night against Dallas and they can start making their observations at that point."