For the first time since Antrel Rolle signed with the Giants in 2010, the 31-year-old safety played, well, primarily safety.
There was enough depth to keep Rolle in his most natural position. No more need for him to player nickel corner, outside corner or down in the box.
The result? 98 tackles (career high), two sacks (career high), six interceptions (career high), a forced fumble and the acknowledgment as the third-most dynamic safety in the league.
— NFL (@nfl) July 17, 2014
NFL.com analysis Bucky Brooks has spent the last week compiling a list of ‘Bucky’s Best,’ taking a look at the NFL’s best at certain attributes. A former NFL player himself, Brooks has found the NFL’s top blind-side blockers, complete running backs, clutch quarterbacks, hybrid tight ends and players with the best hand-ball skills.
Earlier, Brooks named Giants’ cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie the seventh-best coverage safety. Rolle is the highest ranked Giant on any of his lists to date. Brooks has yet to debut his best “Defensive signal-callers.”
Brooks had the following to say on Rolle:
The cagey veteran remains one of the top playmakers in the game despite entering his 10th season in the league. In fact, Rolle is fresh off his best professional campaign. As a former cornerback, he’s comfortable manning up against tight ends and receivers in the slot, but he’s also adept at patrolling the deep middle. His versatility allows defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to use him in a variety of roles in the Giants’ sub-packages to keep quarterbacks guessing in the pocket. Rolle is a proven playmaker with a knack for picking off passes (23 career interceptions, including six in 2013) and creating disruption on the second level. He’s an ideal Swiss army knife to counter the versatile offenses setting the pace in today’s NFL.
The praise and accolades are not the first for Rolle this offseason. The former first-round pick was voted the No. 65 player in the NFL on the NFL Network’s ‘Top 100′ countdown and was named ‘Giant of the Year’ by BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI).
BBI will present Rolle with the ‘Hope Johnson’ trophy on July 25.