Jumal Rolle Green Bay Packers — After seeing Jumal Rolle practice for the first time last year, Joe Whitt went back and watched his tape from the Buffalo Bills preseason.
And the cornerbacks coach was surprised that Rolle was cut. He was a player.
Now, it’d probably be a surprise if Rolle was cut in Green Bay. The second-year corner from Catawba College had another impressive exhibition outing, possibly sealing his spot on the Packers’ 53-man roster. After his five solo tackles against Oakland, playing well inside, Rolle was tested outside against Kansas City. It was the kind of play Whitt and the Packers needed to see.
On second and 8 in the third quarter, the Chiefs sent Mark Harrisondeep up the left sideline and Rolle stuck with the former Rutgers receiver with the 4.37 speed stride for stride. The ball arrived and Rolle adjusted his body for the interception.
The play ended up being wiped out due to a roughing the passer flag on Andy Mulumba, but likely still has merit in the Packers’ decision-making process. Rolle has been a step ahead of sixth-round pickDemetri Goodson all along.
“It didn’t shock me but when I saw the ball all I was thinking was, ‘I have to make the play. We have to get off the field as a defense. We have to get off the field,'” Rolle said. “Try to do anything to get us off the field.
“The main thing was just not to panic. When you’re running stride for stride with a receiver like that the main thing you want to do is don’t panic and make the play.”
Another play, a third and 13 in the second quarter, Rolle closed quickly on Cyrus Gray for a pass break-up/near turnover.
The cornerback position is top heavy this year with Sam Shields back,Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward and Davon House pushing all three for a role. Jarrett Bush, the 9-year veteran, also broke on aTyler Bray pass for an interception himself on Thursday.
Rolle wouldn’t have a role in the defense any time soon, but may have played himself into the bullpen.
“From my perspective, I think I still have some room for improvement,” Rolle said. “Made some plays. Had fun. It’s up to upstairs. It’s their decision.”
The key this summer, Rolle said, was playing with “no regrets.” He didn’t want to get caught up into the numbers game.
Then, as August dragged on, Whitt challenged Rolle with more snaps on game day. When Whitt teed the challenge up, a few thoughts ran through Rolle’s mind.
“That he’s seen some talent, that he’s seen potential,” Rolle said. “In this league, you don’t have too many chances, too many opportunities. So I was grateful and thankful that he gave me the shot that he did to get the plays that I had.”
He plans on getting away from football these next two days. Maybe watch some movies. Maybe talk to the family.
Overall, now, Rolle can sleep a little easier at night.
“I may sleep a little better,” he said. “May sleep a little better. But I’m definitely going to try to keep my mind off football and hope everything pans out the right way.”