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New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Credits Ray Lewis for His Ability to Adjust to Tom Coughlin

January 23rd, 2013 at 8:45 AM
By Dan Benton

If you've heard it once, you've heard it one thousand times: New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is a strict disciplinarian and new arrivals have a tough time adjusting to him. It's been that way since he took over in 2004 and drove running back Tiki Barber into retirement, and nearly did the same to defensive end Michael Strahan. Alas, Coughlin changed his ways a bit, but playing for him continues to be a transition for most players, including safety Antrel Rolle.

After signing with the Giants at the start of the 2010 season, Rolle experienced some culture shock coming to New York from Arizona, and from playing for Dennis Green and Ken Whisenhunt to Coughlin. In fact, it was so rough for Rolle from the get go that he reached out to Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis for advice on how he could adjust to his new coach.

"When I was having a difficult time with adapting to Coach Coughlin’s ways, he was the guy that I called upon," Rolle said during his weekly WFAN appearance. "I got his number and I called him, and I just asked him, 'How should I handle this situation?' I was like, 'It’s extremely difficult for me; I’m not used to this,' and so forth and so on. We had an hour-long conversation just about life, he was telling me how I should approach the situation, how I should be able to deal with coach Coughlin but still get some things across."

Rolle was openly critical of Coughlin and the schedule he kept in the early days of his Giants career, but his conversation with Lewis helped correct what ailed him. Since then, Rolle has been openly and admittedly "all in." He and Coughlin now appear to have a great relationship and that's some he, at least in some small way, credits to Lewis.

"I called on someone who I figured had been through it all," Rolle added. “It boiled down to me going to someone who I can consider a mentor, someone who I know is going to give it to me straight and someone who is going to tell me something I need to hear, as opposed to something that I want to hear. He told me exactly what I needed to hear, and from that day on I never, ever had an issue; I've never had any concerns. I can honestly say we’re great. This is the best I’ve ever felt and it’s going to continue to stay on this path."

In a somewhat ironic twist, Rolle now acts as a mentor to many of his Giants teammates; he now fills the role (not pun intended) Lewis once filled for him. And although he does a lot of talking (which recently earned him the George Young Good Guy award), he never fails to give 110%.

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ray Lewis, Tom Coughlin

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39 Responses to “New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle Credits Ray Lewis for His Ability to Adjust to Tom Coughlin”

  1.  demo3356 says:

    Glad to see when #52 isnt busy with double homicides that he takes the time to help out his fellow Hurricane brothers.. Now I hate him just slightly less then I did before reading this article

  2.  demo3356 says:

    The New York Giants are in a worse salary cap bind heading into the 2013 season that originally reported. Initial estimates had the Giants at $4.7 over the estimated $121 million cap for next season. That number is actually $9.15 million over, nearly double the initially reported estimate, according to National Football Post salary cap analyst Joel Corry.

    Corry said Tuesday that the Giants top 51 players in terms of salary total approximately $131.15 million. Subtract the $1 million salary cap surplus the Giants will carry over into 2013 and that leaves the Giants $9.15 million over the cap at the current time.

    What can the Giants do to get under the cap? They can either re-structure the contracts of some highly-paid veteran players, or release them. Here is a look at how much the Giants could save against the cap by releasing highly-paid veteran players entering the final years of their contracts.

    Corey Webster
    2013 cap number: $9.845M
    Dead money charge: $2.595M
    Cap Savings: $7.25M

    David Diehl
    2013 cap number: $6.575M
    Dead money charge: $2.125M
    Cap Savings: $4.45M

    Justin Tuck
    2013 cap number: $6.15M
    Dead money charge: $1.5M
    Cap Savings: $4.65M

    Michael Boley
    2013 cap number: $5.9M
    Dead money charge: $1.4M
    Cap Savings: $4.5M

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Cutting Chris Canty saves $6.5 million against the cap. That’s one guy to erase 2/3 of what they’re over. I think he’s gone.

  3.  G-MenFan says:

    Another heart-warming human interest story about Ray “Stabby” Lewis.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    So We are now seeing the cap situation is indeed dire and hearing how the team is fat and happy and needs to get hungrier again.. Sounds like there will be some turnover and we will say goodbye to some vets, getting younger through the draft. Also doesn’t look like there will be money for any big time free agents.. Where have we heard this before? Could have sworn somebody has been beating this drum since November.. Folks should start listening to that guy…

    •  Hanshi says:

      LOL, don’t start saying “I told you so”, you’ll start sounding like one of the other posters here.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      You’ve been on that theme for a long time.

      Nothing wrong with reminding us. You’re right, and it gives credibility to your opinion that is, frankly, more expert than many others.

      In a bar filled with rabid fans discussing their team you walk in wanting to have fun and a few drinks. Some want only to shout out their opinions and expect to be taken seriously simply because they have an opinion at all. Others want to “prove” they’re smarter than everyone. A few are interested in learning, first, whose opinions are worth attention, and second, about the team they love.

      There are a number of posters here whose opinions I deeply respect and from whom I’ve learned things about the Giants. I, for one, don’t mind being reminded of accurate opinions because it keeps me focused on the future opinions of those folks. Let’s put it this way: I read your posts from start to finish except on those days when I cannot check in at Giants 101. Keep ‘em coming.

      •  Hanshi says:

        Well, I wasn’t talking about you to start with, I was joking with Demo. You and I have had disagreements in the past but, I for one think you are right more often than you’re wrong and I enjoy your posts. But, as they say, the guilty flee when no one pursues.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          I wasn’t going after you at all. I just want demo to NOT tone down his posts, because I think they’re good, even when a bit bombastic.

          And hey, I never mind disagreement from intelligent and thoughtful posters, of which you are one. I just hate this stupid assumption (rampant throughout society) that there’s no difference between one opinion and another. As I frequently say to my kids, obviously everyone is entitled to an opinion. But depending upon his/her earned credibility, expertise and wisdom, some are entitled to far more attention than others. The touchy-feely “isn’t everyone equal in everything” and “isn’t everyone special” that comes out of the feel-good garbage taught these days in schools as part of the “self-esteem movement” is a load of bull.

    •  Krow says:

      Thank you.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Rolle has become a real team leader who leads both in the locker room and on the field. He plays with real passion. He talks with real passion. He cares. We could use more of that.

    Look, playing in the NFL is almost inhumanly hard on your body. The punishment is brutal. None of us really understand the pain these guys have to deal with from July through December, and then perhaps all the way to February. So it shouldn’t be hard to understand that if they aren’t incredibly hungry (and aren’t afraid that their job and livelihood are in jeopardy) there is a natural tendency to slack off a bit. And once that happens, once that edge is worn down just a bit, you’re dead meat in the NFL. There were a number of veterans on contracts with plenty of guaranteed money still due them who had one or two rings to their name, had just come off a season that went all the way through the Super Bowl, and had become “celebrities” who could make a few more bucks during the off-season via appearances and endorsements rather than beat themselves up with specialized trainers for 4-5 hours per day.

    Anyone who thinks that guys like Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, all of the offensive linemen, Corey Webster, and on and on DIDN’T slack off from early February through June are naive. These guys are human.

    The question isn’t whether the Giants were hungry in 2012. They clearly were not. The question is can they get hungry for 2013 after having been embarrassed in some critical games and having a nice, long, off-season to focus on getting themselves together for another run? I continue to think that there are enough holes that need filling, and enough problems that will result from the cap situation, that while they could and should reach the playoffs next season they will be unlikely to make a long run in those playoffs. But I thought they were a year away back at the beginning of 2007 when I said I thought the Giants were building to a championship in 2008-2009. Maybe they’ll catch the magic again, maybe not. But talking about it, a la Justin Tuck, means nothing. Let’s see how they come out and play. This past season was a weak one all-around, for both the coaches and the players. Even then, and with injuries, and with the effect of Sandy and Sandy Hook (those of you who keep saying they had no effect are out of your blooming minds and probably still kids who don’t know enough to know what you don’t know about people and how they react to tragedy that touches them), this team won nine games. The team does not lack talent. It was just a down year. I truly believe that Reese and the rest of the decision-makers know that, and know that the panic that has enveloped the fan base is unjustified.

    There will be changes. Probably plenty of them. But what will matter is whether the hunger is back. We can’t know that until it’s either on display on the field or not. Just remember, though, that not one of us could stand the punishment that these men take each and every week if we weren’t starved for success in reaching a valued goal, and probably not even then. So admire the hungry teams that have been “fed” and still come back crazy for more. That’s a very hard thing. It’s worth remembering that the two teams still standing were ONE PLAY away from being in the Super Bowl last season. Now THAT makes you hungry. In 2013 the Falcons will be hungry dogs, and the Patriots will still be driven by Brady’s and Belichick’s lust for legacy. Can the Giants be as hungry because they know they were good enough in 2012 but didn’t give everything and wound up embarrassed when they had their fate in their hands? I don’t know.

    •  Krow says:

      I’m really worried that we’re on the wrong side of a rather significant change in the NFL. We’re not even slightly built to play against these new formation offenses. And our coaching staff is very traditional … very set in their ways. Worried !

      •  G-MenFan says:

        I don’t know about that. I think we’re built just fine for it. We have fast, agile, athletic DEs and we collect ‘em. They can be used to rush, or to string out the option. We value speed at LB–same thing. We have safeties that like to bang. All we need is to commit to defending it. A plan. A system. And we can’t afford to have another season with 700+ lbs of flesh in the middle that can’t stop the run or collapse a pocket.

  6.  TuckThis says:

    I don’t think many of us “panicked.” We just saw the reality of what was/is the New York Football Giants for the past 5-6 seasons. What was different? Nothing. They continued to be totally unpredictable (in a bad way.) Yes, there are many holes to fill, but the mentality of this team and their coaching staff needs a total attitude adjustment. Being unable or unwilling to change will not serve them well.

    Sorry demo…too negative for your sensitive self? lol!

  7.  Krow says:

    Having taken a bit of time to research the Pistol Formation developed by Tom Kaczkowski at Division III Northern Ohio University (and not Chris Ault) I must begrudgingly admit that it does seem quite superior to the traditional shotgun. Even with non-running QBs. And if you couple it with some option reads then it’s even better.

    This sh1t is here to stay, and we’d better a) get with it … and b) learn how to defend against it.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Great post. I wondered if that idea really sprung full-blown from Ault, who appears to have built a HUGE reputation as a result.

      I agree, the pistol isn’t going away, and it shouldn’t. Many of us have wondered why there aren’t more 2-back formations when you have a quarterback who is great off a run-fake. There is NO WAY the linebackers can ignore that and it makes great play-action quarterbacks like Eli, with four potential receivers (all of whom are probably better than what the Redskins, for example, had in 2012), totally unstoppable.

      •  Krow says:

        I think we definitely have the skill bodies to run it. I’m worried that our OL isn’t up to the task though. You have to be stout at the point of attack. We’re more finesse than brute power.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Ault was a great coach even before the Pistol but the Pistol will be his lasting legacy. He’s like a lesser known version of Bill Snyder with KState. He too retired a few years ago only to see the program go down and came out of retirement and now Nevada is back.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      LOL!

      We agree now! But seriously I remember watching a random college game like in 06? When Nevada had Rowe as their QB and they were running the Pistol. When they explained the advantages it sounded good but still it was just Nevada. Now several years later it really has turned out to be what they originally said in that telecast from years ago. I think the main advantage is it gives more power run options while still spreading a defense out.

      •  Krow says:

        I never disagreed that it’d be good if we ran it … I just doubt that our coaches feel the same way. Hoping I’m wrong !!!

        •  GOAT56 says:

          One of the reasons I see us running it more is I think it’s becoming just part of a normal NFL offense. So running it won’t be something out there. It’s like if we end up running more no huddle offense. While we know we won’t see many trick plays I think more Pistol and no huddle are things that we could see more because they are pretty basic in today’s NFL.

        •  sonnymooks says:

          Kevin Gilbride isn’t going to run it, no chance, no how. He doesn’t add wrinkles, he was innovative with the run and shoot, but he didn’t create that offense, and Warren Moon was playcalling that eventually.

          Glibrides system, is what it is, its complex, its vertical, and its a bit pass happy, he doesn’t do unusual formations, he doesn’t like certain formations, and his system doesn’t really adapt to personel to much, you have to learn it.

          Personally, I like the pistol and think its actually a better formation then the traditional shotgun, but I’m pretty sure Glibride feels differently, and Couglin isn’t big on changing core parts of his systems, he” change his approach to players, but not his system.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    What Demo posted has completely different cap hits than I have heard previously. Is there any way we can get a confirmation of what the exact numbers are? It really makes a huge difference. If we really save those cap numbers by releasing those players all of them should be gone except Tuck. I have said I would keep Webster at a lower number but if we can save that much money we really could look for a long term answer at CB through free agency as Webster’s replacement.

    •  Krow says:

      Honestly, the cap number is never going to be known with 100% accuracy outside of the Giants organization. There are too many contracts … and far too many conditions within those contracts … that affect the final number. And the team is never going to release that level of detail. All we have are reasonably good guesses.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I’m looking for a reasonably good guess then. Is Webster’s cap saving 3 mil or 7 mil? Those are big differences. That’s what I want to know. If it’s 7 mil or 7.5 mil doesn’t matter much.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          In any case, it’s enough that he’s going to have to renegotiate or get released.

          I’ve said it before and will repeat, our first pick should probably be a corner (regardless of whether we have acquired one in free agency or have retained Webster instead). There are some that really fit the Giants’ style and we saw a number of rookie corners hold their own in the NFL in 2012.

          I’ve also said we need defensive tackles and offensive linemen and a stud linebacker. We will almost certainly not be able to fill all four needs through the draft, but we can fill three of them. If I were Reese I’d start with the corner, but his draft board will determine that and I will not question him because his track record is impeccable.

          •  GOAT56 says:

            I agree but at a 7 mil cap hit releasing him makes much more sense than it would at 3 mil.

            At CB we have been in total agreement. Even if we get a much better Webster in 2013 we need to have better depth at CB so an early draft pick needs to be spent there. I think DT is very close to CB because we need talent and someone that can help in 2013. DT in a position where guys are usually not ready to play so an earlier pick maybe a first rounder might be required for the “pro ready” DT. CBs ready to play can still be found in the 2nd-4th rounds.

            I think the number one need though the defense needs as a starter for 2013 is one impact LB. Like AP when he first came here. Not necessarily a superstar but a near probowl type player. That could be acquired through the draft or free agency.

        •  G-MenFan says:

          $9.975 million cap hit in 2013.

          $875,000 cap hit if he’s cut.

          Something has to be cut. Either him or his salary.

          •  GOAT56 says:

            That’s the 3rd very different number I hear. You are saying we could save 9 mil, above is saying 7 mil and the other it was posted 3 mil. Those are huge differences. I’m just trying to know which is correct. If an article was written here about the cap hits I’m pretty sure that would be a quality estimate.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    Although they are old now let’s not forget Gillbride was at the forefront of the run & shoot while TC was throwing the ball all over the place with his expansion Jags. So they have been very innovative in the past. While I wouldn’t expect huge changes I do expect tweaks offensively. I thought we showed some different things versus Philly and I expect more of those types of things to take advantage of Wilson’s skills.

    Defensively, I’m more worried because Fewell hasn’t shown the variations in defense that many of us would like. Though, I think he’s done a good job versus the more dynamic offenses we have faced. It’s seems the average or below average offenses have been more of a problem. If we are going to run Fewell’s scheme we simply have to have good players on every level and almost every position. So instead of adding to our strength at DE we need to improve DT, LB and CB.

    I think with a healthy Nicks; re-signing of Bennett, Beatty, Boothe; and the emergence of Wilson/Randle we are pretty set on offense. Yes, we need a RT to set up, hopefully Brewer and some talent in the interior. But most of our draft picks and free agent money (if any) should be spent on defense.

  10.  rlhjr says:

    What losing each pending free agent player will cost the team is what I would like to know.

    Starting about the time the ball club lost to Philly in 08, the need for successors to various players on offense and defense was pretty plain.

    Credit Eli his receivers and the Giant defensive line with 2011 glory.
    But the DL advantage and the offensive line are all but gone now.
    In addition, they can no longer scrape by with the pathetic linebacking crew.

    As previously stated, the Giants need to get big, strong fast and young in the front seven and along the offensive line. It’s not going to be an overnight transformation. This is going to take years (two to be exact) to accomplish.

    The free agent route cost’s money. Some of the “fat” veterans (including Tuck and Canty) kill that option before you can really start talking seriously about it.

    The hope is Reese and his crew is shrewd enough to select players with more than just the word “project” stamped on the foreheads. They need to select “players” in rounds one thru three this year and next, no exceptions.

    Now we will see Reese and his scouting staff earn their $$. Hopefully, we can get a Ray Lewis (KILLER) linebacker to go along with a stud DT, OG/OT and CB.
    Then hope all the skill position guys can stay around long enough for the youngsters to learn the ropes.

    Keeping Eli in one piece is the priority. Next would be rejuvenating the pass rush via another “killer” DT. Austin sadly does not seem to be the guy.
    He’ll be coming off surgery and two years of zero competition.

    The list goes on. To sum it up:
    “SO MANY HOLES, SO LITTLE MONEY”. I was tempted to say time, but time is not important. What’s important is making the right selections at the right positions on draft day. That will hopefully translate into the team remaining semi competitive until the talent gels, and the heavy vet contracts are let go.

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