It was as recent as Week 15 of the NFL regular season when Giants’ safety and cornerback Antrel Rolle had enough of his team and decided that he no longer wanted to play in New York. The New York Giants had just lost to the Washington Redskins at home pushing the team back to a .500 record of 7-7. With nearly two important games left in the regular season, Rolle’s future with his team was very much in question.
According to New York Giants’ beat writer Mike Garafolo via The Star-Ledger, Giants safeties’ coach David Merritt was involved in many conversations with Antrel Rolle advising the seven-year veteran to maintain his composure and finish the season strong.
Why was Antrel Rolle so angry with the Giants? For so many years and throughout his career, all Rolle knew was how to be a safety. When the New York Giants hired Perry Fewell as the team’s defensive coordinator this season, all that experience in the safety position had to be put to the side. Rolle had a different task, playing cornerback.
It was an unfamiliar territory for Antrel Rolle and luckily, coach Merritt was there by his side to assist in any way possible. Merritt would exchange text messages with Rolle on a daily basis to help put things into perspective, not always about football, but life in general.
“Antrel stay the course my young brother,” Merritt said. “Putting coaching aside you are right where God would have you to be at this point in your life and career. Find out through prayer WHY are you here? What lesson is to be learned or who are you supposed to help here on this team or in this area!!!”
Merritt continued sending text messages as words of empowerment:
“Know that God has US here for a reason & sometimes a season. You may get that chance to leave in the end but WE must finish this season the right way, working unto God & not man!”
With the help of Merritt, Antrel Rolle was able to finish the season in a positive note. The Redskins loss would be the Giants’ last defeat as “Big Blue” rallied to win six straight games riding their streak all the way to the Super Bowl.
How does Antrel Rolle feel now? Ecstatic! During media day leading up to the Super Bowl, the guy couldn’t even stop smiling. Now, Rolle is singing “Kumbaya” with his fellow teammates and is all of a sudden happy to be a New York Giant. It’s funny how six consecutive wins and a shot to win the NFL Classic can suddenly change a person’s view in just a matter of weeks. Hey, what can I say? The Super Bowl tends to have that affect on people.
I wonder what would happen if the New York Giants lost in the Super Bowl. Do you think Antrel Rolle would stay or leave New York?
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