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Cards On An Awards Rolle

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Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle (21) leaps into the arms of safety Oliver Celestin celebrating one of Rolle's interception returns for a touchdown Sunday.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't thrilled with Antrel Rolle at the moment.

Rolle had just scored his second touchdown Sunday and gotten a penalty flag for celebration after his attempted backflip. Whisenhunt was going to let Rolle know he wasn't pleased. But some players stopped Whisenhunt. "Coach, that's his second touchdown," they told him. "You can't say anything." Whisenhunt pondered it for a moment, and decided Rolle's teammates were right.

"For the record, I will make this special exception, on your second interception return for a touchdown I will forgive you for a celebration," Whisenhunt said with a smile.

That stance seems natural after a performance like Rolle's, a three-interception showing that produced two scores (one fron 55 yards out and one from 54) and missed out on a third (which would have been a 71-yard return) only because of a questionable penalty.

Backflips should be allowed, and the NFC defensive player of the week award should be a given – which it was Tuesday.

Rolle became the second straight Cardinal to win the award, which went to linebacker Karlos Dansby last week. He is the third Cardinal in 11 weeks this season to be the conference's defensive choice, since cornerback Rod Hood also took the honor.

"I have used the players and coaches around me to make me better," Rolle said. "This is a team effort from top to bottom."

Return man Steve Breaston also won NFC special teams player of the week this season.

Whisenhunt said Rolle's showing was practically predictable. After the Bengals' game, part of the conversation on the charter flight home was how Rolle had intercepted a number of passes in practice the week before the game.

"That's because he was recognizing the route combinations and getting to the right spots," Whisenhunt said. "It was nice to see that carry over."


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 11/20/07

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