Antrel Rolle: 'Things have to change'

Updated: September 22, 2010, 3:55 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle found plenty of things that went wrong against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

While Peyton Manning had plenty to do with the Giants' problems in their 38-14 loss, Rolle pointed to other bigger issues inside the Giants locker room.

Rolle raised concerns about the team's leadership and the way the Giants are run. While Rolle made it clear the blame is to be shared by everyone on the team, the safety would like to see improved leadership from players and coaches before they face Tennessee on Sunday.

The safety, who signed a five-year, $37 million deal in the offseason to join the Giants from the Cardinals, said the coaching staff might need to be less controlling.

"I definitely see little things here and there and it is not all with the players," Rolle said in an interview with WFAN radio. "There are a lot of other things that goes on behind closed doors that a lot of people don't know about. It is not all about the players sometimes.

"Things have to change. If you want a winning team, a team that has a competitive attitude and to have that dog mentality, sometimes you have to let that team be a dog. Everything can't be controlled. Right now, everything is controlled in this organization. Everything is controlled."

Rolle was not asked a follow-up question to clarify his comments. The veteran safety didn't spare the players from shouldering more responsibility as well. He wants to see better leadership from the players.

"I saw some things that I wasn't too fond of in that locker room," Rolle said. "I felt like there was no one that stepped up to the plate when the opportunity presented itself."

One of the major issues entering the season with the Giants was who would step up and be the voice of the team with Antonio Pierce gone. The team named Eli Manning, Justin Tuck and Chase Blackburn as captains.

"I don't take anything away from any player," Rolle said when asked if he can become more of a leader. "I love my teammates. They are warriors. But in a situation like that, something should have been done to a higher extent and I don't feel like there was enough done at all taking place in that game."

And apparently not enough happened before the game either. The safety said the Giants came out lackadaisical against the Colts, who led 24-0 at halftime, because they had too much downtime.

According to Rolle, the team arrived to Indianapolis on Saturday around 3 p.m. ET and then went to the stadium way too early on Sunday for the night game.

"Honestly in my opinion, I think there was too much laying around before the game," Rolle said. "We get to the stadium 3 hours and 15 minutes before the game started. I'm just sitting around getting lackadaisical. I don't make excuses for the game because we got whupped no matter how you look at it. But I don't know the reason why we came out flat. I know the reason why I came out flat.

"When you are sitting around the locker room for an hour and a half not doing anything, it is pretty much unheard of. Honestly I felt we were way too relaxed."

Rolle did admit that the Giants' defensive game plan could have been altered but he evenly spread the blame for the Giants' inability to stop the run between the coaches and players.

The Giants came out with six defensive backs and one linebacker to combat the Colts' passing attack. They kept only two defensive tackles active and Indianapolis ran the ball 43 times for 160 yards.

"I think things could have been called a little bit differently but I also think us as players could have executed the plays that were called a little differently," Rolle said. "We were in a Cover 2 system pretty much the entire night but I also see a lot of teams that stop the run in Cover 2 systems also.

"It worked hand in hand that game. I don't think the coaches gave us a chance and I don't think we gave ourselves a chance."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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