Antrel Rolle

Something To Prove - Cardinals’ cornerbacks know they are under the microscope

FLAGSTAFF – Antrel Rolle has heard the talk. It’s almost impossible not to hear it.

He – like his fellow returning cornerback, Eric Green – understands the pressure staring at them heading into this season.

“We definitely have to show what we have,” Rolle said. “(The naysayers) are looking for the same things we are looking for ourselves. I am my worst critic. We have to go out and make the big plays. That’s what we need.”

The Cardinals, who also added free-agent Rod Hood in the offseason to buoy the position, hope the cornerbacks can deliver just that. It is a major key to whether the Cardinals’ defense – which fell from eighth-ranked in the NFL in 2005 to 29th last year – can succeed.

Draft Day Memories: CB Antrel Rolle

Growing up in Florida, Antrel Rolle excelled as a high school football player and landed a football scholarship to the University of Miami. In four seasons at Miami, Rolle was credited with 183 tackles, five interceptions and also doubled as a return man, returning 13 punts in 2003 for 202 yards and one touchdown.

In the 2005 Draft Rolle was selected by the Cardinals with the eighth overall pick and became the first cornerback taken by the Cards in the first round since Tom Knight in 1997.

Rolle was impressive in the first three games of his rookie season before suffering a knee injury, which required surgery and kept him on the sidelines for nine games. Despite battling back from injury, Rolle recorded 28 tackles in his rookie campaign.

Antrel Rolle Update

After a trying rookie year in which Antrel Rolle battled a knee injury, the former first-round pick returned for his second season with the Cardinals determined to prove his worth as the eighth player selected in the 2005 NFL Draft. Despite being matched up against the opponent’s top receiver, Rolle responded with a solid season, and as a 16-game starter he collected 87 tackles, one pass interception, 10 pass deflections and two forced fumbles.

In the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Rolle led the team with eight tackles and two pass defenses in the Cardinals’ 34-27 victory.

In Week 5 Rolle had a stellar performance with a season-best eight solo tackles and one pass defense against Kansas City.

The following week against Chicago on Monday Night Football, the former Miami Hurricane logged two pass defenses and three tackles.

As the season wore on, Rolle continued to work hard and improve his overall game. In Week 12 at Minnesota, Rolle tied for second on the team with nine tackles and also added one pass defense.

The following week at St. Louis, Rolle posted three solo tackles and recorded his first forced fumble of his career in the Cardinals' 27-21 victory over the Rams.

In the home finale vs. Denver, Rolle recorded a new career high with 11 tackles and added a pass deflection against the Broncos.

Arguably the best performance of 2006 for Rolle was the final divisional game against the 49ers in Week 16 as he recorded two tackles, one pass defense, one forced fumble and snagged a key a fourth-quarter interception as the Cards defeated San Francisco 26-20.

With a full 16-game season now on his resume, Rolle will return for his third season in 2007 and has the tools and proven track record to be a solid contributor in the Cards secondary.


What does Antrel Rolle need to improve on?

We are going to change some things defensively this year a little bit that will help him.  The biggest thing for Antrel is technique. From looking at him on tape, there are a little bit of inconsistency with his alignment and how he played things. Hopefully we will get those things cleaned up. My impression is he is a young player who wants to be good and that is a good sign.