Part of the reason Antrel Rolle said he came to New York was to play in meaningful games with big spotlights. They don't get much brighter than the ones that will be shining on MetLife Stadium come Sunday night as the Giants take on the Cowboys in a winner-take-all for the division crown.
"I love competition," he said on Monday. "And I love playing the best of the best on each level each and every week. This is another chance for us to go out here and show what we have as a unit."
Since signing with the franchise last season, Rolle has found another purpose for his voice in the locker room.
After the disappointing home loss to Washington two weeks ago, Rolle made himself heard by saying "It starts in practice." Rolle wasn't calling anyone out, but he wanted to see a sense of urgency throughout the week from players battling nicks and bruises.
The Giants listened to the "all hands on deck" message all week leading up to the Jets game and carried it into Saturday. That included Justin Tuck, who had his name stricken from the injury report and went on to record four tackles and a sack.
"It's not about being a leader," Rolle said. "It's not about being a leader. Honestly, if there is nothing to be said, I won't say anything at all. But if I feel something in my gut and I know that it's right, I'm going to say it. Maybe I shouldn't always relay it to you all, which I understand. I never speak out of anger, especially about my teammates because we're all one at the end of the day."
Rolle, who said he went up to Tuck and told him he played his butt off, has never shied from voicing what he thinks is right. Tom Coughlin was asked during his press conference as to what it says about his team that they didn't become fractured over the comments.
"Our team is pretty solid, I would say," Coughlin said. "I don't know that would have been the case. I don't know that he went to that kind of an extreme. I don't know that he pointed any figures at anybody. I hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to it."
"It has nothing to do with me," Rolle continued. "It has something to do about what's right is right. We need everyone on board to get to where we're trying to get to, and that's what it was. Nothing about any guy in particular, nothing about whoever – I don't know who practices each and every day. That wasn't the reason I made the comment. I made the comment because I know we need everyone on board. If you're nicked up, we need you to fight because it's not about being physically strong. It's about being mentally strong. Sometimes we're going to need that extra push on the field mentally, and that's what it's all about."
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