Antrel Rolle comes up big from natural position

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The Giants were adamant about keeping Antrel Rolle at his free safety position this season after spending virtually all 2011 as the nickel cornerback.

Rolle was needed to fill a gaping hole in the secondary, even though nickel back is not where he does his best work. Strictly a safety this season, Rolle has been freed up to roam the field and make more plays.

His best showing to date was in San Francisco, where he intercepted the league’s most difficult quarterback to pick off, Alex Smith, twice in a third-quarter display of playmaking.

Rolle has great hands, but he’s often been unable to use them because he’s dropping deep in coverage. He's also versatile enough to be used in other roles, such as a primary blitzer against running quarterbacks such as Michael Vick.

With starting strong safety Kenny Phillips out with sprained knee ligaments, Rolle’s experience in the defensive backfield the past few games has been even more vital as he’s been required to help backup Stevie Brown get in the proper position.

Rolle has been dealing with a sore left knee but hasn’t missed a game and rarely misses a snap during the course of a game.

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