Everybody has an opinion on why the Giants got pounded 38-14 by the Colts Sunday. Even starting safety Antrel Rolle.
It didn’t take long for someone to start making noise. One bad loss early. And the Giants staff can probably expect more if they go forward and turn their Sunday night disaster movie into a losing streak.
But you might want to separate Rolle’s views from the rest of the strategists’. In a radio interview with WFAN in New York, Rolle seemed more worried about Tom Coughlin’s travel itinerary than any personnel mismatches on the field.
Rolle said the Giants arrived in Indianapolis at about 3 p.m. Saturday, leaving them with more than a full day to kill before kickoff. Way too much time for his liking. And the Giants’ early arrival at Lucas Oil Stadium didn’t help matters.
“We got to the stadium three hours and 15 minutes before the game started and we were sitting around doing nothing, just being lackadaisical,” Rolle said.
Rolle said the same thing happened when, while playing with the Arizona Cardinals, his team arrived early in Philadelphia for a Thanksgiving night game, only to get kicked around the field. After that, he said, the Cardinals adjusted their time schedule.
“They backed up the schedule a bit so we arrived about 7, 8 at night so we wouldn’t have so much time in the hotel,” Rolle said.
“But (getting to the locker room) three hours and 15 minutes before the game, I’ve never done that. I’ve never heard of that. Two hours before gametime is more than enough to get what you need to get done. Getting there that early is almost unheard of.”
Rolle also questioned the leadership in and out of the Giants' locker room, which was not a unique idea. The lack of a true leader was a major sore point last season, but it appears, at least in Rolle's mind, that it has carried over to this season.
“I don’t take anything away from any player," Rolle said. "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 to a higher extent. I don’t feel like there was enough done at all taking place in that game, especially a game of that magnitude.”
Then he took on the coaches.
“I definitely see things," Rolle said. "I see little things here and there, and it’s not all with the players,” he said. “There are a lot of other things that go on behind closed doors that a lot of people don’t know about. It’s not all about the players sometimes. Things have to change.
“If you want a winning 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.”
It will be interesting to see how Coughlin receives Rolle’s critique. Remember, this is a man who believes in promptness and proper preparation, mental and physical, before games. And certainly togetherness in the locker room.
But at least Rolle shouldered some of the blame for the total team failure.
“There was no dog, no enthusiasm on the field, which drove me crazy,” Rolle said. “I don’t understand what it was. I wasn’t up to par with that, either. There was too much hanging around before the game, too much down time relaxing and doing nothing.”