Antrel Rolle sounds humbler this time

Before playing the New England Patriots back in Week 9, Antrel Rolle was the one who said the Giants’ opponents on their schedule should fear them. He was the one who called pesky slot receiver Wes Welker human, and the one who labeled the Patriots’ inflated offense “nothing spectacular.”

“I’m confident every week,” Rolle said back then. “That’s who I am.”

Today, the same man stood before reporters with the same opponent looming. But in a way, it didn’t sound like the same brash Giants safety from a few weeks ago.

“I get extremely nervous, I get extremely nervous before playing games, sometimes to the point where I feel like I can’t even stand up,” Rolle said in the middle of a bustling Giants locker room today. “It can be going against whoever, and I’ll still feel the same way.”

With the Patriots circling back for another crack at the Giants, it seems Rolle has taken a different approach, from decidedly confident to tacitly humble. Despite beating New England, 24-20, Rolle said there’s no confidence to be gained from that. After heading home to Florida for a brief recess following the NFC Championship Game victory, he said he touched down at the airport and immediately sharpened his focus.

Nothing about the Giants’ improbable five-game winning streak makes him feel invincible, he swears, adding that “you never feel like you can’t lose. You can only feel like you prepared yourself enough.

“That means absolutely nothing at this point,” Rolle said of beating the Patriots back in early November. “That was a game back then. You hear people talking about (Tom) Brady, saying he’s not on his game, he’s not this; that means absolutely nothing. We all know what Brady can do; we all know what he’s capable of.

“They’ve won 10 straight — that’s something that’s going to be our focus point.”

Perhaps it’s because Rolle has lost in a Super Bowl before (with the Arizona Cardinals, in Super Bowl XLIII). He’s gone through this process and come home empty-handed. He was careful not to downplay any member of the Patriots today, including the matchup nightmares of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

When asked about Brady, Rolle said: “I don’t think you can actually take his strengths away from him. We just have to be exceptionally good at what we’re doing.”

After his session was up, Rolle jogged quickly out of the locker room, taking a brief moment to show off his own brand of T-shirts — one of which he was wearing. He plugged the website where one could purchase such things and said he’ll try to sell some in Indianapolis next week.
But he left behind no traces of his trademark confidence.

“We understand what’s ahead of us,” Rolle said. “But at the same time, we can’t get away from what we’ve been doing and what’s been successful.”

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus