The departure of Antrel Rolle in free agency left the New York Giants' secondary without its vocal leader. Rolle had established a role as the captain of the secondary and he was the team's most tenured veteran. He left behind a youthful secondary in search of a new leader to step up and fill Rolle's place. It's still early, but early signs indicated that player will be fifth-year veteran Prince Amukamara.
Amukamara is not the same fiery and outspoken personality that Rolle was, but he doesn't have to be. In a young secondary like this one, Amukamara can win over his teammates leading by example.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the team's best cornerback in his first season with the team in 2014, talked about how the secondary views Amukamara's role with the team.
Article continues below ...
"He's the big brother," Rodgers-Cromartie said, per Newsday. "He's the captain, we follow his lead."
Amukamara has a different leadership style than Rolle ever did, and it directly affects how the players interact with him. He likes it that way.
"I kind of like that relationship where I try to be the comical guy, but the business guy on the field too," Amukamara said. "I like how guys aren't afraid to call me out. If Antrel messed up, I don't think guys, especially second-year guys, would go to him and be like 'Come on!' But I like how we have that relationship.
"I try to loosen guys up off the field, but on the field you want to be taken seriously so I try to distinguish the two."
Amukamara was having his best season in the NFL before a torn bicep injury ended his 2014 season after just eight games. In that short time span, Amukamara racked up a career high three interceptions and earned high marks from Pro Football Focus. According to their game charters, Amukamara graded out strong in pass coverage and run defense. Despite missing eight games, he finished as one of Pro Football Focus' 25 best cornerbacks overall.