Brandon Jacobs isn't the only member of the Giants seeing red these days. Antrel Rolle is also in a bad mood and, unlike Jacobs, his view actually matters since he's a contributing member of the team.
Rolle went on WFAN Tuesday and unloaded on his team for just about everything associated with their game in Indianapolis on Sunday night. He ripped the coaching staff for getting the team into town early on Saturday and for bringing them to the stadium three hours before the game because both moves left the team "too relaxed." He mildly criticized the team's defensive game plan, saying that he didn't feel the coaches gave them a chance to be successful. He couched that by saying that poor execution also contributed to the terrible performance, but his words were definitely slanted toward the guys calling the plays.
The players wouldn't escape unscathed, however. Rolle lashed out at himself and his teammates for their failure to step up and lead the team when the team needed to be led.
"I saw some things that I wasn't too fond of in that locker room. I felt like there was no one that stepped up to the plate when the opportunity presented itself. I don't take anything away from any player. I love my teammates, my teammates are great, they're warriors. But I felt like in a situation like that something should have been done. I don't feel like there was enough done at all in that game."
At the very close of the interview, he unloaded on the entire organization.
"Things have to change. If you want a winning team. If you want 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. And right now everything is controlled within this organization. Everything is controlled.
That could be read as a criticism of the coaching staff, particularly because no one has ever accused Tom "Being on time to meetings is late" Coughlin of being afraid to micromanage things. But it could also be a continuation of Rolle's statements about leadership and a complaint about the fact that they don't throw themselves into games completely. The reserve that stops players from stepping up and leading could certainly be termed as being too controlled.
The interview ended just after that comment, which is a shame because it certainly begged for some further commentary. We'll surely get it when reporters have access to Rolle this week, but the initial reaction is that this is a good thing for the Giants.
Among various performance issues, a lack of leadership was often cited as a reason why the Giants fell apart after five games last season. That manifested itself on the field, but it also manifested itself off the field as player after player whistled their way through the mounting wreckage and refused to admit that there was anything wrong with the way the team was performing.
Rolle is doing the opposite, he's doing it candidly and he's doing it at a time when the season is still young enough that no permanent damage has been done to the Giants' chances. We're deep enough into the careers of players like Eli Manning and Justin Tuck to know that they are either unwilling or unable to display this kind of leadership, but every team needs an honest voice even if it means swallowing harsh truths on occasion.
Rolle was brought here to solve the glaring weakness at safety, but this might just be an indication that the Giants killed two birds with one stone.