Antrel Rolle and Tom Coughlin will probably have a conversation at some point this week about retaliating against an opponent and drawing a 15-yard penalty that hurts his team.
But Coughlin shouldn't expect that Rolle will make nice with players in other uniforms the rest of the way. He said Monday that if you mess with him, as Eagles tight end Brent Celek did, he'll mess with you. Even if it means the continuation of a touchdown drive.
"I think my teammates understood where I was coming from," Rolle said. "I felt like they were cheap-shotting a little bit. They kept trying to put their hands up in my face and they kept crying after the play. You know, you’ve got to let them know: I’m not a pushover. I’m not a punk under any means. And sometimes you have to put your foot down, even if it costs you a little bit."
The penalty moved the Eagles to the Giants' 11, after which RB LeSean McCoy scored a touchdown that pulled the Eagles to within 14-10 in the second quarter. Take away that penalty, and the Eagles might have settled for a field goal. And perhaps the Giants could have run out the clock from there, or at least used enough time to eliminate the possibility of that half-ending field goal that put the Eagles a point behind, 14-13.
Coughlin isn't a fan of such things. Nor does he particularly care for Rolle's loose-lipped radio appearances, where he has been known to say anything that pops into his mind.
And yet, Rolle is still here, and being productive in the Giants' secondary.
And the safety said things aren't going to change anytime soon.
"Sometimes it has to be done," he said. "It’s more of a mental toughness and more of a mental attitude than anything sometimes. That’s where I was going with that. I wasn’t going to get myself ejected. I wasn’t going to throw any blows. But at the same time I was going to stand my ground.
"I’m definitely a guy that’s never going to back down. I’m never going to back down from any opponent.
"When I play the game, I play the game. At the end of the day the coaching gets done Monday through Saturday. Sunday when I’m on the field I’m in a zone. And if I feel like something needs to be done I’m going to handle it. I’ll take care of disciplinary actions after that."
Believe it or not, Rolle said he knows where the line is, however blurry that may seem to onlookers.
"I wasn’t going to get myself ejected. I’m a smarter player than that," he said. "I wasn’t going to hurt myself or hurt the team by getting myself thrown out of the game. But I think I definitely had to make a statement and hold my ground. I just felt like sometimes it’s bigger than the game. I felt like I don’t want them to get that attitude over us, so they have more swagger than us or more passion or they had more desire or even more toughness.
"Take a chance, man. I took a chance. I have confidence in my team. I have confidence in myself. And I have confidence that, you know, that 15 (yards), we’ll get 30 more. That’s the way I look at it. In the heat of the moment like that, sometimes you have to put your foot down."