New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck hasn't been thrilled with the way safety Antrel Rolle has handled himself since joining the team via free agency last March. He doesn't have any issue with Rolle's on-field product, but the fact he went on a Miami radio station earlier this month and talked about how Giants coach Tom Coughlin needed to be more like Jets coach Rex Ryan didn't sit well with Tuck.
"Everything we do with the Giants needs to be a team effort, no matter what we’re talking about," said Tuck. "So it’s very important he realizes he’s a tremendous, important part of the success of this football team. And not only on the football field but off it, too. It can be as important in what you say as in what you do."
As Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger pointed out, it sounds like Tuck is telling Rolle to keep his mouth shut when it comes to criticizing the head coach. Rolle called out the coach early in the season for arriving at road games too early and being too demanding. Then he and fellow safety Kenny Phillips did a Miami radio interview earlier this month in which they seemed to be longing for a more player-friendly coach such as Ryan. Tuck is the unquestioned leader of the Giants' defense, and I think he probably made it clear to Rolle that it's OK to bite your tongue every now and then.
"Me and Justin, we are on the same page," said Rolle. "We’re both competitors and we’re both going after the same goal which is to win,” Rolle said.
Of course, that's easy to say when you're hanging out together in Hawaii. We'll see if Rolle can remain on the same page with Tuck and Coughlin next season.