Coming into his 5th season with the Big Blue, Antrel Rolle has become an instrumental part of this Giants’ football club, on and off the field. After posting six interceptions and receiving a Pro-Bowl invitation this past season, Rolle is looking to pick up where he left off last season as the Giants were a top 10 pass defense last year.
As the team added Pro-Bowler Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Super Bowl Champion Walter Thurmond to the equation along with Rolle and Amukamara, most analysts figured the Giants’ revamped vaunted secondary will become a major proponent for success.
Unfortunately for the Giants, in two weeks the club has failed to record an interception and rank a rather disappointing 21st in pass defense. Adding salt to the wound, Cornerback Walter Thurmond will be out for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral. Also, Domonique Rodgers- Cromartie has been eaten alive by the likes of Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, two of the NFL’s best Wide Receivers.
To make matters worse, over the Giants’ next three games they face the likes of Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, and Julio Jones. With a depleted secondary, this doesn’t bode well for the G-men. How can the Giants potentially overcome these deficits, and pick up their first win of the season? Eliminating penalties is a good start. With a league high 7 penalties in the secondary, the Giants have been kicking themselves in the foot all season long. When Rolle was asked about this issue, he was open and honest about the lack of discipline.
“Those are the refs, they’re going to make the calls and we have to play within the rules or do our best, too,” noted Rolle. “They’re going to call some on us and it’s fine, but we’re not going to stop being aggressive. We need to be smarter, you can’t hold a guy. Illegal contact, some things like that are going to take place throughout the course of a game. There are certain things we saw on film today, when you’re jamming a guy and you’re holding and you’re looking at the quarterback they’re going to call that 100 percent of the time so we have to be smarter. Practice makes perfect and that’s pretty much it.” So, at this point you have to hand things off to awareness and discipline.”
The secondary is filled with Pro Bowlers and ball hawks. All this unit needs is the proper discipline and awareness to return to 2013 form. We’ll have to wait and see if Antrel Rolle can gather his troops into a more disciplined unit, which means eliminating penalties and beginning to take the offense off the field on 3rd downs. If the Giants wish to have any success this season, it must start now.