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Good News/Bad News Profootball Focus.com Giants preview

One of my favorite football web sites is profootballfocus.com (other ones I enjoy are walterfootball.com, footballoutsiders.com, coldhardfootballfacts, just to name a few)  came out with their Giants season preview (basically).

Here’s the whole article

Here are the two bright spots they highlight:

Eli Manning.

Four of a Kind (which is Osi, Tuck, Kiwi, JPP).

And the two “bad news” things profootballfocus states are:

a Porous middle.

The Giants’ interior defensive line — for whatever reason — did not “bring it” in 2009.

And the one I want to talk about most.

2.A Rolle of the dice.

When Kenny Phillips went down for the season with an injury, a gaping hole emerged in Big Blue’s secondary. From what was left, C.C. Brown drew much of the ire of the Giants’ faithful, but the performances of Aaron Rouse (-11.8) and Michael Johnson (-19.9) graded out just as bad as the man dubbed ‘Can’t Cover.’

So it was time to find some new talent in the secondary, and the end result was making our 60th-ranked safety the highest paid safety in the game. It should probably come as no surprise that Antrel Rolle‘s best game came against the Giants, but the rest of his season was characterized by a number of poor displays that saw him end the season with a -9.2 rating.

The Giants have invested a lot in Rolle as the answer to their safety problems but we wouldn’t bet on the equation, “Athleticism + High-First-Round-Pick + One Good Game = Success.”

Walterfootball.com is another place that doesn’t think that highly of Antrel Rolle, but to me I think he is a good N.F.L. player, who is a playmaker.  Walterfootball.com (I’m paraphrasing this) basically said about how Cardinals fans were excited to see Antrel Rolle go becuase of all the blown coverages he had and that he is essentially overrated.

But I disagree.

I think people need to remember a few things about Antrel Rolle.

First this is only his third year as a safety in his football career. He was drafted as a cornerback, and started his N.F.L. career as a cornerback.  He is now entering his sixth season so based on what people generally say about rookies (third year is the breakout year) it might be possible that Antrel Rolle might finally feel comftorable at the safety position this year and he could play have his best yet to come.

Second, we learned today that last year Antrel Rolle played the entire season with a torn plantar (like Eli Manning had last year except Eli’s was strained and Rolle’s was completely torn, so go the reports), so that should send people a message about Rolle’s toughness.

Next thing that is a positive for Antrel Rolle is that he is a vocal leader on the field. The Giants need a leader on the field who can cut out the giving up crap at the end of last season. I’m still embarassed about being  a Giants fan when I think back to the last three games of last season the Giants need someone  who can push them to play though and hard (Now, it is also true that the Cardinals have been plagued by games the past few seasons where they don’t bother to show up).

Perry Fewell is one of the best secondary coaches in the league. Seriously, have you seen what he’s worked with on defense out in Buffalo? He’s had that defense playing competently since he’s been there, and EVERY one the Bills put out in the secondary plays pretty well (Jabrari Greer, Nate Clements, Terrence McGee, Drayton Florence played well last year). In fact players like Drayton Florence who struggled in San Diego played very well last season with the Bills despite the fact that the Bills were one of the most injured teams in the league and they have no real talent along the defensive line (just average players like chris Kelsay, an aging Marcus Stroud, an aging Aaron Schobel…). I think Perry Fewell’s coaching ability  and potential impact is being downplayed at times.

Lastly, and this is the most important thing. Antrel Rolle is a PLAYMAKER.

You can live with a player in the secondarywho gives up a big play once in awhile if they can also make game-chaning plays.

That was the problem with C.C. Brown, Michael Johnson and Aaron Rouse. They would give up Big plays, but NEVER make a play on the ball.

Last year Rolle was fourth on the team in tackles, while also contributing 1.5 sacks, 4 INT and 8 passes defensed.

Rolle had more INT last year in 15 games than ALL people who played Safety for the Giants last year did (Including Kenny Phillips two interceptions).

Michael Johnson had 1 INT last year.

That’s right Rolle had 4 INT, and Johnson, Brown, Ross,  Kenny Phillips, and Rouse (I know Ross and Phillips barely played) had 3 measly interceptions  combined (especially disgraceful considering how much teams passed on the Giants after the Saints game, you would think they could have at least lucked into one Interception)

I’ll live with a big play given up here or there if Rolle can be great in run support (which he is) and make plays on the balls once in a while so QB’s have to at least think twice about trying to throw the ball back in the backfield.

Rolle is very athletic and can cover a lot of ground. He has Cornerback coverage skills and can support in the run game at safety.

I think with Fewell’s coaching, the ability of the Giants to rush the passer (well supposed ability, they should we’ll see how that goes this year), and him playing next to Kenny Phillips (if healthy or Grant, who’s solid also) and I think Rolle is in for a good season with the Giants.

Is he still overpaid? Probably, but I’m not one to gripe about markets and market values.

Every subsequent year players hit the markets at the right time and thus are rewarded because they are next in line, that doesn’t make them overpaid it’s market value.

Rolle is NOT the best safety in the league even though he is the highest paid, but the Giants don’t need him to be. They need him to be competent to blow FEW assignments (like less than 5 a game like last year) and to actually be around the ball once in awhile.

Just my thoughts on that article.

Have a nice day, everyone.


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