The New York Giants struggled mightily on both offense and Special Teams throughout 2013, and although they didn't start strong, their defense ended the season being at least a dimly lit bright spot amidst complete darkness. But, safety Antrel Rolle says, it could have been much more dominant if not for defensive coordinator Perry Fewell being forced into simplification.
“There were sometimes during the year when Perry Fewell was restricted from running certain defenses that I know he would love to run,” Rolle said. “Certain defenses I know could have helped us out defensively at the beginning of the year. But it takes everyone. It’s a collective effort and if one guy is wrong we’re all wrong. For the early part of the year that’s something that we failed to do as a defensive unit."
But why they failed, Rolle hints, is not so much about lack of talent, but instead, a lack of understanding the complexities of Fewell's defense.
"You’re going to have guys who study and go way beyond the X’s and O’s and you’re going to have guys who go in there and just do what is taught to them during meeting times and when they study at the facility and what is taking place on the field. This game, you have to study this game and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. You have to study the game with the guy beside you because that’s who you’re going to be playing with, that’s who you need to have the same chemistry with," he added.
Rolle failed to call out any specific teammate or teammates, but the message is a clear one: someone or a group of people weren't going above and beyond for the team. And while that may be a direct result of seemingly endless injuries, the Giants' lone Pro Bowler seems no less frustrated by it.
And, Rolle adds, if the players on the team aren't willing to do what's necessary, then it's time to find some others who will.
“We failed to do that, especially in the beginning of the season, so coach Perry Fewell had to simplify a lot of things for our defense this year,” said Rolle. “We’re looking for the guys who can step in, who can understand the defense, who can play the defense and can be very versatile because that’s the way we won when we won the Super Bowl in 2011.”
The captain has spoken.
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