Here's some Tom Coughlin on signing Antrel Rolle.
"Antrel is an energetic, very likeable, bubbly young guy who is very, very impressive in terms of his ability, his football knowledge and his desire to learn more and to know more about the game," Coughlin said. "He really enjoys sitting in the room with a tape on, talking football. He made a very, very favorable impression that way with all of us –Perry Fewell, Dave Merritt and myself."
Also, as we have here at this blog, Coughlin cautioned about considering Rolle's signing as a hedge against Kenny Phillips returning at anything but top form. Of course, one has to take that as a coach talking best-case scenario. Comebacks from microfracture surgery are tricky, and setbacks are easily and commonly encountered.
But the ideal concept is not to have Rolle as a replacement for Phillips, but rather to bind them as a tandem.
"The idea that this is associated with the Kenny Phillips situation is incorrect," Coughlin said. "We needed to answer some questions in terms of the safety position. This move puts us in a position now where we feel this can be a really strong part of our team. We needed to really solidify and help the safety position based on last year’s experience. That’s the reason this objective was so important to us."
Coughlin continued, "They’re interchangeable. Both safeties will find themselves in the half (covering half the field), in the middle of the field, down at the line of scrimmage, being involved in covering the lost. Both safeties will be interchangeable in terms of their ability to be multi-functional. Both safeties will be involved in the pressure package."
The odd man out here is Michael Johnson, assuming Phillips comes back. But no one will get a true measure of Phillips' status until he actually starts practicing, and that's a ways off right now.