Quinten Rollins had a strong debut in the National Football League Thursday night.
““It was fun,” the 2010 Wilmington High School graduate said after the game. “It was good to get out there and go against guys we haven’t seen. We had fun playing fast and hard.”
The Green Bay Packers defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 22-11 in Foxboro, Mass. Rollins was a second round draft pick of the Packers this spring.
Three GB cornerbacks and a safety did not make the trip to New England, so the Packers were playing a bit short-handed in the secondary.
Still, head coach Mike McCarthy liked what he saw of Rollins and the others.
“I think they did some really great things,” said McCarthy. “Our guys are doing a great job. We’re getting our hands on a lot of balls – you can see it in practice. I think as a secondary, it’s happening more this year than in prior years. You can see it in training camp practices and I think it definitely carried over (into the game).”
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was quoted by Packers.com as saying “Quinten played really well.”
Unofficially, Rollins was credited with four tackles and three pass breakups. He played mostly at left corner on the outside receiver against the Patriots offense.
“I really don’t care, whatever I can do to help the team,” he said. “I just need to put myself in a position whether I am inside or outside, to make a play on the ball.”
Rollins had his hands on a couple of passes, nearly intercepting one in the end zone.
He gave up a couple of quick, slant passes in the second half but more than proved himself against the Patriot second-line receivers.
With just a couple exceptions, Rollins played close to the line of scrimmage against the split ends for New England, showcasing his tight coverage skills. Right or wrong, Rollins’ toughness — after playing just one year of college football — has come into question.
“I got that a lot going through the process of the draft – that I was a basketball player that was known to be soft,” he admitted. “But growing up, I was a physical kid. I was always physical on the court doing all the little things. I don’t mind the physical part.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.