New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle was the team's lone Pro Bowl representative a season ago, and rightfully so. The defensive captain has continued to make strides each and every year since joining Big Blue, and despite entering his 10th season in the league, Rolle is really just scratching the surface of his talent ceiling. That has finally been recognized by a league expert, as Rolle was recently ranked the No. 3 overall safety in the league by NFL Network's Bucky Brooks.
3) Antrel Rolle, New York Giants: The cagey veteran remains one of the top playmakers in the game despite entering his 10th season in the league. In fact, Rolle is fresh off his best professional campaign. As a former cornerback, he's comfortable manning up against tight ends and receivers in the slot, but he's also adept at patrolling the deep middle. His versatility allows defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to use him in a variety of roles in the Giants' sub-packages to keep quarterbacks guessing in the pocket. Rolle is a proven playmaker with a knack for picking off passes (23 career interceptions, including six in 2013) and creating disruption on the second level. He's an ideal Swiss army knife to counter the versatile offenses setting the pace in today's NFL.
Giants secondary coach Dave Merritt recently shared similar sentiments, praising Rolle for continuing to work hard in effort to become not only a better player, but a better leader in Big Blue's locker-room.
"Antrel is now starting to understand, he’s starting to develop as a safety. He was a corner, as we all know … now all of a sudden he’s a safety and he’s now starting to understand the position more so than ever," Merritt said. "The last two years it’s all coming together for him and he’s feeling more comfortable.
"With Antrel’s ability to continue to learn and grow he hasn’t, in my opinion, hasn’t scratched [the surface of] his ability as a safety yet. Last year as a glimpse of what Antrel could actually become. Just imagine if he had started that maybe eight years before at the position," Merritt added. "Again, the first couple of years you all know we played him at nickel, we played him at bison, we played him at corner, we played him at safety and now he’s able to just play strictly safety and it’s coming together for him well."
The only two safeties ranked higher than Rolle on NFL Network's list were Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs) and Earl Thomas (Seattle Seahawks), who were ranked No. 2 and No. 1 respectively.
No other safeties from the NFC East cracked the Top 10.
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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Dave Merritt, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell