Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles had a less than stellar season and disappointed many people when it came to living up to their “dream team” hype. Now, it’s 2012 and the Birds are looking better than ever. Every man on the roster plays a special role and all will be giving it their 110% this upcoming year. One man in particular at linebacker is Brian Rolle. The Ohio State grad had a phenomenal rookie season and is looking to put many critics in their place by proving the Eagles have what it takes. I had the opportunity to e-mail some questions to Brian about his thoughts on the Birds and the 2012 season:
Coming off your rookie year with 54 tackles, how accomplishing does it feel to know you are the only linebacker starting back-to-back seasons in your second year?
Well its exciting to know that the hard wok I’ve put In has paid off and as far as starting I just know I have to continue to work extremely hard to keep my job.
Last year, the defense was under a lot of criticism and Juan Castillo seemed to be on his way out of Philadelphia. What changed in those final four games of the season that ultimately brought this defense together?
I think the biggest thing was players gathering up and talking about what we really wanted out of our season. It really had nothing to do with football schemes, it’s all our mentality.
Now starting next to newly acquired Demeco Ryans and across from rookie Mychal Kendricks, both players new to the team, how does your starting experience factor into teaching and helping them adjust to the Eagles defense?
Well there’s very little I can teach Demeco as far as football haha, but with our scheme I just explain to them both in “player terms” what they don’t get when Juan or Caldwell says something.
Heading into training camp and the 2012 season, what has the vibe been around camp and what is the number one goal of the defense this year?
Tell ya what..we are excited.We’ve had this offseason to get in what the lockout prevented last year and that’s to be in sync with each other and install little by little rather than piling it on the first through last day of camp.
There are many new faces on the roster. What is one rookie in particular that you can see coming onto the field and immediately making plays on defense?
I would say Brandon Boykin..That young kid made plays in mini camp and you know he played in the SEC. He is definitely ready to play.
Many analysts feel a player at your position should be ‘big and strong.’ Standing at 5’ 10”, how do you manage to make such an impact with your stature?
Well people that think you have to be big to play LB probably haven’t played football or weren’t very good at it. Playing LB is all attitude,well football in general is attitude, and if you want to be great, you’ll defy the odds just as I do and that’s by keeping God first, working hard, and just having fun.
Being cousins to Antrel Rolle, Samari Rolle and Myron Rolle, and even related to Chad Ochocinco, have any of them gave you advice or tips on how to make it in the NFL?
Well I remember a good talk with Myron before the draft and he just talked about the grind it’s going to take and that’s something i do everyday
Do you promise to do everything you can to prevent the Giants from making it to the Super Bowl once again this year?
Haha well I tell you what I will do my 1/11th every week and I’m sure the most deserving team will make it.
I would like to thank Brian Rolle for taking the time out of his day and doing this interview with us. Philly Sports Nut is grateful to have this opportunity. Be sure to keep an eye out for Brian and the entire Philadelphia Eagles team in training camp, starting Monday, July 23 at Lehigh University. By the way, less than two months to go until the season kicks off!!! WOOHOO!
Follow Frank Passalacqua on Twitter @randomfrankp