Sunday, December 18, 2011
Rolle: Amukamara got beat
By Mike Mazzeo
Giants safety Antrel Rolle became miffed after a reporter asked him why there were so many breakdowns in the secondary.
“There weren’t any breakdowns,” Rolle responded.
But rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara did get beat a lot ...
“Then that’s just Prince getting beat,” Rolle responded. “There weren’t any breakdowns.”
Ouch. Talk about throwing your teammate under the bus.
Not that it wasn’t warranted, of course. Amukamara probably had his worst game as a pro in Sunday’s 23-10 loss to the Redskins at MetLife Stadium. He was picked on early and often -- and burned just as many times. Before the start of the second half, Amukamara was told that the Giants were going with a “different package” defensively. One that didn’t include him.
“That doesn’t sit well with me,” Amukamara said. “But it makes me wanna work that much harder so I never have to have that conversation again.
“It’s frustrating, but that’s no excuse. Nobody’s gonna take it easy on me and I definitely don’t expect nor want that. I just have to keep practicing and getting better.”
Amukamara was exposed on Santana Moss' 20-yard touchdown with 13:49 left in the second quarter when he failed to switch off his man and get to Moss in coverage.
“I just had to haul butt and get over there,” Amukamara said. “It was my responsibility.”
He later gave too much cushion to Jabar Gaffney, and allowed the Washington wideout to spin him and make a 16-yard catch on a 3rd and 14 from the New York 22, which gave the Redskins a 1st and goal at the 6. They scored to take a 17-0 lead on the very next play.
The Giants’ first-round pick out of Nebraska still hasn’t looked comfortable after missing basically all of training camp and the first nine games of the season due a broken foot. His only highlight so far has been his interception against the Eagles in his NFL debut on Nov. 20. Otherwise, there have been a lot more downs than ups.
“As a competitor and as a player I always think there’s a lot of things I can work on,” Amukamara said. “I’m still not where I wanna be and I'm still not where the coaches want me to be.”
Coach Tom Coughlin tried to deflect the blame away from the 22-year-old.
“Again, I will look at the tape, but it seemed like they threw the ball in that direction and we were not having a lot of success,” Coughlin said. “But it wasn’t just Prince. It wasn’t just him.”
Amukamara’s teammates were seen frequently talking with him on the sidelines.
“They were just being my bigger brothers, just telling me to forget about [the TD] play and just keep making plays and worry about the next one.”
Asked what he told Amukamara, Rolle responded: “That’s between us.”