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Shutdown Corner

Giants’ Antrel Rolle blasts teammates for not practicing

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Last week, New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle (seen above, participating in yet another dynamic ankle tackle) took to the airwaves, slamming those in the media who would dare blame him for Dez Bryant's touchdown catch in the Giants' eventual 37-34 squeaker win. After insisting that anyone who thought he was burned by Bryant didn't know what the hell they were talking about, Rolle went all team-think on his weekly WFAN spot. "If one person is wrong, that's gonna make 11 people wrong," Rolle said. "That's what we've been having and that's what we cannot continue to have."

After the G-Men were decimated by the Washington Redskins, 23-10, on Sunday, Rolle decided that there were more specific subjects for blame. To be particular about it, Rolle's teammates who are allegedly not practicing during the week, for all the wrong reasons. This despite the fact that, as my Shutdown Corner compadre Chris Chase put it, "Rolle was in full DeAngelo Hall mode on Sunday, whiffing tackles and blowing coverages, yet jawing so much you'd have thought he was playing like Night Train Lane."

"It starts in practice, man. This [expletive] starts in practice," Rolle said after the Washington loss. "And you know what? We need to have everyone on the field. If you're injured, so be it, you're injured. We understand that. But nicks and bruises? Everyone needs to be on the field because we're not getting better like this."

Rolle then said that he "wasn't calling anybody out." Well, of course not.

"If you're going to go out here and play the game on Sunday, you need to be out there with your men throughout the week," he continued. "I've been nicked up all year long. A lot of other people have been nicked up all year long. We go out there and we're fighting."

OK, so who might Rolle have been talking about? Kenny Phillips, Justin Tuck and Ahmad Bradshaw were among the Giants players limited in practice through the week. Especially this late in the season, when smaller injuries can pile up into larger issues, practice time is more carefully meted out. But don't tell coach Rolle!

Oh, wait — you're not the coach?

"I don't know. I ain't the coach, man," said Rolle, setting us all straight. "I'm not trying to be the coach and I'm not trying to say what he should do or shouldn't do. But I feel as teammates we need to hold each other more accountable. If you're going to be in the battle come Sunday, let's be in the battle throughout the week. That's only going to make us better."

Tuck, who Rolle would not want to anger under any circumstances, put his mouthy teammate right in his place.

"When I was young I used to look at some of the older guys when they missed practice, and kind of give them a little look like, 'they should probably be out here,'" Tuck said.

"I always say that it's easy to be tough when you're doing it with somebody else's body."

Boom, game over, and there you have it. The G-Men stand at 7-7, they've lost five of their last six games, and they're fighting for survival in the NFC East. The last thing they need is more bluster from a guy who's talking like Deion Sanders, but playing more like Colonel Sanders.

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