Antrel Rolle: Can’t get Victor Cruz screams ‘out of my head’

Antrel Rolle has watched the replay of the Victor Cruz injury “at least 15, 20 times to see what could have possibly happened’’ and admits he is having a hard time dealing with the season-ending loss of one of the Giants’ most invaluable players and personalities.

“Man, I just can’t get it out of my head the way he was just down there screaming, screaming to the top of his lungs and you didn’t know why,’’ Rolle said Tuesday on his weekly WFAN spot. “I don’t know, man, that’s a hard pill to swallow.’’

The fateful play, in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 27-0 loss in Philadelphia, was a fade thrown by Eli Manning. Cruz leaped for the ball in the right corner of the end zone and reached for his right knee before he even hit the ground. He had surgery Monday to repair a torn patellar tendon and faces a long and arduous recovery.

“I’ve seen Victor run that play 20 times in practice, I see him catch it 20 times in practice, some things are just freakish and that’s just a freakish accident,’’ said Rolle, who acknowledged that finishing the game was difficult when Cruz’s injury was “the only thing on your mind.’’

The Giants must move on without Cruz and must shake off the devastating loss in time for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Rolle said the Giants must keep Cruz in their thoughts.

“As a Giant and as a player, we need to definitely go out there and honor this guy,’’ said Rolle, one of five team captains, along with Cruz.

“You always find a reason to play this game for something bigger than yourself, and right now here’s an opportunity to go out there and play the game for something that’s bigger than yourself. Here’s a guy who contributed so much and put so much on the line for this team and for this organization, we have to make sure we go out there and do something to inspire him while he’s going through this tough time.’’

Rolle said he thought the Eagles and their fans “showed great character’’ for showing such concern for Cruz once everyone realized this was a serious injury.
As far as the rest of the Giants’ performance, Rolle was bewildered.

“Once the whistle was blown, there was no Giants team to play,’’ he said.

Rolle was asked to evaluate the performance of an offensive line that surrendered six sacks of Eli Manning (and two more of backup Ryan Nassib).

“I really don’t know exactly how it breaks down with the offensive line, what I do know is you take care of the guy in front of you,” Rolle said.  “You whup the man that’s in front of you, it’s just mano a mano. To me that’s what it looked like, we just got whupped, we got manhandled, we got punched in the mouth and we didn’t fight back. Scheme is one thing and there’s your heart and the way you attack the game.

“No one’s gonna be perfect, we all get beat at some point in time, but how you respond to that, how you respond to getting beat? Are you going to hang your head and allow yourself to stay beat, or are you gonna raise up and fight like a man? I didn’t see anyone raise up and fight like a man throughout the entire course of the game. We lost that team as a whole, I don’t care who may have thought they had a decent game or who may have thought they played OK, no one played OK. When you lose 27-zip, no one has a good game.

“There are no individuals on our team, especially when you lost 27-zip, I don’t care who you are. In my opinion, everyone’s grade is an F. 27-zero, that’s embarrassing, man.’’

What he perceived as a lack of fight is what bothers Rolle most of all.

“The loss is bad and the loss obviously bothered everyone within our organization, but I don’t like the way we didn’t fight back,’’ he said. “That’s my biggest concern, that’s my biggest problem. I felt like we took it, we took it, we took it, we took it and never once did we ever turn and fight back. That’s not being a football player, that’s about being a man. We need to do something about that this upcoming Sunday.’’

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