The New York Giants must have been listening to Antrel Rolle last week when he stated that the defense had to play with more “dog” in order to get back to where they need to be to make another Super Bowl run. New York crushed the Saints in Week 14 and appears to be back on track as it continues to try to stave off the rest of the NFC East.
Antrel Rolle joined Joe and Evan on WFAN in New York to discuss the changes he saw in the defense in Week 14 against the Saints after he said last week he wanted to see more “dog” in them. He also touched on the struggling pass rush, David Wilson, Eli Manning, his belief that the Giants still haven’t peaked and the revenge aspect of the game with New Orleans.
On if he saw “more dog” from the team against the Saints:
“Yeah, I saw a lot of rottweilers out there on Sunday night, man. … We played with a sense of urgency, and more importantly, I think we played with a chip on our shoulders.”
On the team responding to him calling them out:
“Before I say anything on behalf of the team, I always look at myself in the mirror first, and I just realized that I could be playing more physical. I could be playing more dominant as a player. And I just felt like, as a team, we should be playing more physical and more dominant as well. So that’s where it came from. It’s not about calling my team out, because I am a part of this team, obviously. We’re all one.”
On the pass rush not being as productive as last season:
“I just feel like everyone knows that we have definitely one of the best defensive linemen in the league. So they’re just putting a huge emphasis on keeping those guys away from the quarterback. And I just think, as a defensive line, those guys got to Drew Brees. … They definitely made him uncomfortable in the pocket. We just need to find more ways to try to get to the quarterback. Every game is not going to be a game with five, six, seven sacks, but pressure sometimes is almost just as good as sacks. And I have all the confidence in the world in my defensive line, and those guys will get it done.”
On David Wilson’s kick return for a touchdown against New Orleans:
“In my eyes, it was definitely the play of the game, without a doubt. After throwing a pick-six. … That’s never a good thing, when you throw a pick-six. … It definitely lifted the confidence of this team, and I’m pretty sure it helped Eli out also.”
On Eli Manning’s mindset:
“I think he has the best mindset of any quarterback. He never gets down on himself, no matter if it’s good plays or bad plays. He’s going to … keep fighting. And to be able to start a game off like that and throw a pick-six, and then to bounce back the way he did, I think it just [shows] the type of leader [and] captain he is for our team.”
On knowing they can get better:
“We know how much better we can go out there and play. Whatever the record shows or whatever the score shows at the end of the day — we know when we go back and watch film — we know and we see each week where we can get better. And I don’t think we’ve put it all together yet.”
On wanting revenge against the Saints after being hammered by them last year:
“Personally, I was going for the gusto. There’s not too many games that I go into a game saying, ‘I’m playing for revenge.’ … But that was definitely a game where I was playing for get-back. I don’t care, I’ll be honest and say that. I didn’t like the way we went down there and embarrassed ourselves and the way we let them embarrass us last year. That’s still weighing heavy on my heart. I mean, there’s been [only] a couple times where I’ve been a part of a game that has been so one-sided in my life. So as a defensive performer, I don’t think we did anything at all to stop them last year. It seemed like they did whatever they wanted to do. So for me, no doubt about it, there was definitely some get-back.”